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28 July 2011 @ 18:11
Do you think that criminals should be able to profit from selling their memoirs, after serving jail time?

Fuck no. I'm assuming that a lot of this is due to Casey Anthony? And, even though that's very much a local story, and even though she's very much a local criminal.. still no.

HOWEVER - I'd encourage criminals to write books and memoirs, and make movies, and whathaveyou. Mostly because I believe that any 'profit', and any 'sales' or 'proceeds', should go to the State/Department that prosecuted the criminal, if the criminal wasn't already sued or charged with 'paying the state and tax-payers back'. But not even the State/Department, if people are too picky - as we know that the less-crime-filled states would start to complain.. Have all profit go to the Country deficit/debt, then.

At the same token, this is one of those 'in a perfect world' things - as this would never happen. Just like the major corporations will still get the bailouts, most more than once, even. Just like tax cuts will always be perceived as unfair.

Just my two-cents, though.

I think everybody should have the chance to learn from, or just take from, the criminals - especially if the criminal has learned something, themselves, or 'become a better person'. Fact is, jail-time can drastically change a person - better or worse - and I think everybody has a right to talk about, write about, and share their experiences; especially if somebody else can learn something from it. I do not think, though, that there should EVER be monetary profit from committing a crime - no matter how small. Your profit, as a criminal (if going strictly by the question, and being 'after serving jail-time'), is the fact that you're no longer in jail; or the fact that you can see your book or movie sales (because you'd know, if you are printing more, seeing the orders, etc), the fact that you can share your story (should you choose to).

Perhaps the only way for this to work would be that, when going to prison, and/or getting let out, this would be one of those conditions or agreements. 'Any profit from this point forward from anything dealing with my life, my story, my experiences up until this point, etc..'.. would be awarded to the state, department, and/or the country..

mood: disappointeddisappointed
Sfhhhgefhgfthe_silent_army on 30th July 2011 20:47 (UTC)
This is a horribly fascist idea.
Samanthaahtnamas on 30th July 2011 23:12 (UTC)
For one, I not only never said it was the best idea, but I also never said that it wasn't fascist.

Obviously it's not the best idea, but the question was asked; so I answered. I certainly do not believe it's the best idea, in fact, if anything, I believe it more as a 'lesser of two evils', or at least better than the alternative 'yes'.

Though, since you bring it up, it's not fascist. Sure, I see a 'unity' of sorts, even a 'community' kind of service or (by-)product.. but the idea isn't purging anything, isn't ridding of anything, or diving into the bigger body. It is, in no way grouping or binding anybody together, and certainly not by anything dealing with a person's culture, upbringing, history/ancestry, or ethnicity.. I'm also fairly confident (or at least hopeful) that this kind of thing would CURB violence and criminal acts - this most definitely does not condone.. nay, justify.. the crimes in any way, let alone 'for the sake of our nation'.

I can see where there might be connections - like anarchy, or opposing government and 'the man'.. Since this would, in a way, support the government ("the State", as I had mentioned in the idea). But really, I was being rather selfish and pissed at the government when I mentioned the 'profit' going to the State - because it is us, as taxpayers that pay for the court duration, the public attorneys, the meals for the jury, etc. It is US, and not necessarily the government - so I was feeling as though the guilty/criminal should pay US back. I was saying/thinking all this, thinking that if it happened often/steady enough, we could possibly be out of a deficit, thus taxes would possibly be lowered - or not even counting the debt, but that we wouldn't have higher taxes due to higher crime/court rates. So, selfish reason - US, and OUR taxes (as people in prison do not pay taxes like we do, out of prison)..

So yeah.. the economic-class aspects of the fascist ideologogy could be connected to my idea - since my idea was primarily economic-based.. but it was based in selfishness and government-opposition, for the most part. I get it - it likens to the idea of profit motive.. But in the specifics and the reasoning behind my idea - "actors" (as they were the cause for the fascist movement) and the like have nothing to do with it.. actors and/or people who work hard for their money (no matter how much/little), versus people who did something not only negative and/or dangerous, but something that cost others a lot of money, if nothing else. (Also connected to the fact that once in prison, you don't have the taxes as those out of prison; so not even 'working hard').

I do, however, think it's rather funny, even ironic.. that you consider my idea fascist, of all things. I mean.. considering the fact that I've been yelled at for being the biggest liberal, even the biggest Marxist (however differing, the two)? It makes it that much of a "holy shit, I can't believe you got that from this" moment.

Because really, I didn't intend for fascism to come across - especially because I'm in no way a fan, supporter, or the like, myself. I didn't mean for my idea to scream fascism, of all things. Though, in fairness, I was ranting more than I was thinking through "how will this come out?". For that, I am sorry. Especially if you were offended by seemingly-fascist remarks.
Sfhhhgefhgfthe_silent_army on 31st July 2011 13:27 (UTC)
I just think it's a bit extreme that you think the government should be able to take artistic rights from a person who broke one of their laws, basically saying that nothing they do belongs to them. In a way, I could see how this could be equated to totalitarian authoritarian communism, but that is hardly Marxism, is it?

It strikes me particularly because the government considers behaviors I engage in to be criminal -- particularly drug use. I'm not an addict. In fact, I haven't used anything in a few months. If I were not on probation, I might smoke some weed, but other than that... I take LSD from time to time. I've had a history with other things. No need to get into that.

I am currently in the criminal system because I was in possession of Adderall while in college.

What you're saying is that the government should be able to step in and say, "You broke our laws, so now anything you write belongs to us, especially if it has to do with your affliction with drug use. Want to tell the story of how you came to use drugs and what happened to you? Want to talk about what it was like to be processed through the legal system? No. That's ours now. It doesn't matter if you're a good writer or a bad writer. It doesn't matter if you paint beautifully or make wonderful music. It's ours, and no we're going to profit from it. You belong to us."

Don't get me wrong... I recognize the difference between violent criminals and drug abusers... But the government doesn't really as much as you might think. If I didn't slave away and give them all of my money, they would lock me up in a prison right with rapists, murderers, and child molesters.

You have a right to your own opinion, as extreme as it is to me... But I think that a person's punishment should be involved in either 1) Death or 2) Removal from society, or 3) Rehabilitation, not economic enslavement.
Samanthaahtnamas on 31st July 2011 20:17 (UTC)
Oh, I should probably clarify - I was talking about ones who've spent time in prison, and ones Casey-Anthony-related, you know? If you steal a box of cereal, or were found drunk in public - I don't give a shit. But when you knowingly commit a crime, a crime of violence, VERY MUCH so endangering lives.. that's the situation I was thinking of. That's the kind of situation that I think the original question was relating to, so I didn't bother mentioning the exceptions.

I've been arrested. I've the same kind of issues and 'behaviors'. And believe me, I KNOW the government doesn't know the difference between murderers and addicts. I get that. I didn't go into specifics or details, though - I was just giving a basic answer. And, since I assumed the original question was related to violent crimes/felons (Casey Anthony-like), I only answered what I thought for those type of situations..

And because I wasn't talking about drug-use or drug-use crimes, especially if not having already spent time in prison (like the question states), I certainly wasn't saying that drug-related experiences and stories should only profit the government, and not the writer (good or bad writer).

Furthermore, I didn't even mean that the government would 'own' the criminals post-prison. I strictly meant paying back the cost it took to go to court and to hold/house that criminal - costs that the criminal not only did not pay, but that his/or peers ended up paying for. I wasn't meaning ALL profits, from the moment of release, to go to the government - just the amount to pay for the costs we are out. The reason I mentioned the 'country debt', is because I assumed communities/areas where there are less (violent) crime wouldn't like the fact that their court costs and prison-housing costs weren't being repaid, and that their taxes would remain.

I understand - we all have our rights to our opinions - that's one of the great things about it, here.. but the question was a basic/general question - and my answer was even more so, especially since I took the original question as specifically relating to one area and/or type of crime/criminals.

I should also mention - I COMPLETELY agree as far as the 'punishment' you mentioned - either three of those, or a combination of the last two. I certainly didn't ever mean 'enslavement' in any way, economic or otherwise - especially considering the fact that post-release, most are 'enslaved' via probation, PO's, house-arrest, community service, registering in a database, job-placement, NA/AA/GA/SA-type programs/steps, Halfway Houses, tainted reputation, etc. I certainly don't want to add more 'torture' to somebody who has already served their time, and is already 'enslaved' in their community in the before-mentioned ways. All I was meaning for is that the costs WE paid for - court, and holding - would be paid back before the criminal makes a profit - once repaid, profit all you want.

Does that make sense? I was meaning the idea as more of an alternative to the County/State prosecuting/suing for the court/holding costs, just have an agreement of sorts.. And even then, I am not sure I would make it exclusive to those going to profit from memoirs/etc, because I wouldn't want it unequal - but at the same time, I don't think that lesser crimes, or criminals getting out and doing something with their lives, rather than publishing their story/experience.. I don't think they should pay it all back, too, since they will have a cost-of-living, and have to start over, too.. So really, I acknowledge the differences between crimes and then the experiences/memoirs. My answer/idea was kind of a general response to a specific topic/part of what I assumed the question had in mind.