Reinstate judicial corporal punishment
  • Petitioned United States Department of Justice

This petition was delivered to:

United States Department of Justice

Reinstate judicial corporal punishment

    1. Petition by

      Rachel Dwight

      Richardson, TX

American prisons are overcrowded. Millions of offenders are incarcerated each year, often for minor offenses, for short or extensive amounts of time. Recidivism rates are high (one study gives a figure of 88%). State and local governments as well as the federal government spend billions of dollars each year keeping offenders locked up and taking care of their basic needs, leading to the rise of private prisons and an associated industrial complex.
These problems of prison overcrowding and recidivism can easily be addressed: not by education, not by mandatory counseling, not even by faith.
What, you ask, might be the solution in mind?

Cane them.

In countries where judicial corporal punishment is applied, recidivism rates are low, prisons are much less crowded (as terms are shorter) and the overall crime rate is sharply lower than that of countries where the cane is not applied. State, federal and local governments can save billions of dollars in prison costs and cut the national crime rate at the same time by simply bending the offender over a wooden frame and striking him/her on the bare buttocks with a rattan cane a few times. The punishment is excruciatingly painful and leaves permanent physical and psychological scars, but it is a small price to pay for the safety of the American public. Some might argue that the punishment violates the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution or the United Nations Convention Against Torture. These claims are invalid because caning is not an unusual punishment; children are routinely spanked at home and in schools in 19 states across the country. Though the United States is a signatory to the Convention Against Torture, our armed forces routinely waterboard and otherwise torture suspects accused of terrorism. Our courts have ruled that waterboarding, an interrogation technique that simulates and can result in drowning, does not constitute a form of torture as outlined by the Convention and is necessary for our national security. If we can nearly drown suspects that have merely been accused of a crime, then why can we not cane criminals who have already been convicted? As long as there are visibly demonstrable benefits (as there are, as demonstrated by countries such as Malaysia and Singapore), any immediate harm is a small price to pay.

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