Eventually he couldn't take it anymore and surrendered himself. He was then given a suspended sentence citing that he already has been through enough.
Here's a podcast episode on that: https://snapjudgment.org/cop-out
Yep - he's still on the wanted list - going on 18-19 years now. It's unclear whether he's dead, hiding out, or what; all signs point to him at least escaping and "going into the wilderness". What's happened since that point is anyone's guess.
For that matter, though, the whole escapade has a lot of questions if you research it. The official story is that one day, he snapped, and decided to kill his wife and kids, then blow up their house (natural gas explosion - leveled it) - supposedly to try to hid the evidence of the murder. Then he took the dog with him in their SUV, ran off into the wilderness - then vanished. The dog and the SUV were found, and that was it.
There were questions (at the time) - theory, conspiracy, you name it - but I don't know what to make of them; it was all one weird thing in what would turn out to be a tumultuous year, and quickly overtaken by events and somewhat "forgotten".
The questions still remain as to why and what really happened - the official case states marital trouble, but none of it seems (but who knows what his mental state was) to rise to the level of what occurred, though the background seems a convenient explanation after the fact.
A criminal justice system centered around reform results in a safer and more humane society for everyone.
I wonder whether this is typical, or he was given special treatment.
It is certainly possible to question how well any of these goals are met, or even the overall framework. But it is useful to start with the reality of how folks talk about punishment in a criminal justice context.
Ref: search "purpose of criminal punishment" and pick one.
just Saturday night I tried to walk outside of a bar holding my drink. the owner asked me not to do it because he might get in trouble.
Many years ago I worked in a startup, as it turns out the primary owner of the business is what a typical person would likely consider a con-man. I have a rolodex filled with people who were harmed by this man's lies.
Good luck seeking justice if you don't have a bank-roll to fund a strong lawsuit.
I've long since let it go, but for a solid year or so I was consumed by hatred for this man and very much would've loved to take a tire-iron to this man's knees. Some of the other people hurt are close personal friends, I can say with certainty that I'm not the only one who wanted retribution. These people also have family / relationships, some amount of wealth, opportunity, etc.
As it turns out, the risking non-trivial amounts of time in prison serves a deterrent for certain classes of individual. People with something to lose. That, statistically, it doesn't quite appear to serve the purpose should make you question the circumstances, the incentives at play as relates to the people committing those crimes.
Do be cautions when drawing black-and-white conclusions from statistics.
This argument can be extended to cover murder, theft, drug use and any other crimes you might think of by examining people’s value systems. I think we can all agree that murder is against most people’s values but you can’t say it’s universal. Some people are okay with murder in different circumstances but they may not necessarily be psychopaths who crave murder to the detriment of all else. It’s these people that I think may be deterred by the threat of punishment for murder.
Furthermore, to complicate matters a little bit, there is the principle of marginal deterrence. If the punishment for murder is much more severe than for burglary, for example, you can expect a burglar to think twice before deciding to murder the home owner during a break-in. If, on the other hand, you punish stealing with the same severe penalty as murder (say, death penalty for either crime) then you risk incentivizing the burglar to murder anyone who might be a witness to the burglary.
Ultimately, I think the soundness of the principle of punishment as a deterrent derives not from the assumption that everyone has the same values (we don’t) but from the differences in everyone’s values. This helps society produce an outcome that would not otherwise be achievable if we required 100% consensus on every individual value.
I have my personal set of ethics/morals. Murder and theft are not allowed by those. The laws in Canada line up pretty close to these ethics, but not perfectly. The threat of punishment is what stops me from doing stuff in the "does no harm to anyone" category where the laws and my ethics disagree.
I know a lot more people would park in handicap spaces if the fines were made optional. Speeding is another good example where people literally slow down when they see someone capable of punishing them.
Would I try heroin if there were no negative consequences? I'd certainly be less averse.
I'm mainly using it as an example of a behavior that's mildly antisocial but not bad enough to trigger serious enough guilt/embarrassment to stop people from doing it if they couldn't be punished.
Punishment is a deterrent and has been proven so for millennia.
A proven deterrent? Do you have any facts to back-up your posit? The crime and recidivism rates would seem to indicate the contrary; especially, in the states.
Essentially, we should - in theory - have no crime by now (given it's been over a millennium) as all rates should've diminished to zero, yeah?
At best, punishment as a deterrent is keeping the for-profit prison-industrial complex in business and that's about the extent of any benefit[s] (if it can even be called that) it might be providing to society.
There's a line of thought I keep seeing in this thread:
a purpose of imprisonment is deterrence by punishment. people still commit crimes. therefore deterrence by punishment doesn't work. therefore prisons should be replaced with free-range daycare for adults.
You don't have to like the idea of restricting someone's freedom. But would you rather that a violent offender be in prison and unable to cause further harm? I would.
Prison doesn't have to be a place where punishment is meted out upon some imperfect soul for an eternity. It can just as easily be a place where the inmates are expected to make an effort to understand why they are there and how they can move on from that chapter of their life. And we can still lock up the unrepentant for a very long time.
Many of the Christians that I've talked to use the phrase "hate the sin, love the sinner." Maybe it's time we took that to heart and allow our prison population the dignity of being treated like human beings?
If you entertain such a possibility then it is easy to see that the system with ideal deterrence (i.e. it detters everyone who could possibly be deterred) will also have 100% recidivism as the only people who get punished are the ones who cannot be deterred and will keep committing crimes no matter what.
No, the reason is because of the four main theories of criminal punishment, deterrence, rehabilitation (also known as reformation), and incapacitation—that is, all but retribution—are all forms of prevention, and so “prevention” lacks specificity.
> If you entertain such a possibility then it is easy to see that the system with ideal deterrence (i.e. it detters everyone who could possibly be deterred) will also have 100% recidivism as the only people who get punished are the ones who cannot be deterred and will keep committing crimes no matter what.
This assumes that the system not only has ideal deterrence, but entirely lacks both rehabilitation and incapacitation.
So, punishment as a deterrent is currently a theory.
I want to reply to wickedsickeune below, "Gravity is also a theory," but I think the thread's hit max-depth.
The word "theory" in the context of Deterrence_(penology) is not the same as the word "theory" in "theory of Gravity." The _Theory_ of Gravity refers to a model or explanation that follows from observed facts.
Deterrence, according to the Wikipedia page, doesn't fit that definition of the word.
> Despite numerous studies using a variety of data sources, sanctions, crime types, statistical methods and theoretical approaches, there remains little agreement in the scientific literature about whether, how, under what circumstances, to what extent, for which crimes, at what cost, for which individuals and, perhaps most importantly, in which direction do various aspects of contemporary criminal sanctions affect subsequent criminal behavior.
Yes, because the word "theory" was used erroneously. Saying that its currently a hypothesis would have been better.
No, it was used correctly; “theory” has definitions other than those in the context of empirical science and the use of “hypothesis” would have been at least as wrong as the scientific sense of “theory”.
The use of “theory” in that sentence is not in the scientific sense; it is a philosophical rather than a predictive model. (There are predictive models of deterrence, some of which might be theories, or perhaps hypotheses, in the scientific sense, but that's not what the quote is discussing.)
At least in the US, murder rates are consistently higher in states with the death penalty.
Magashna is clearly not arguing causality, but rather that the death penalty has failed to be a deterrent to murder.
Edit: legitimately curious, not trying to be nitpicky
Generally the best ways to analyze the impact of similar social changes is to compare two similar locations, one that makes a change and one that doesn't, over the same time period, and hope that controls for broader social change.
It's not perfect by any means though.
There is a thing that officially gets called Oppositional Defiant Disorder where you have a kid whose wiring boils down to You can't make me! Neither of my sons has been given such a diagnosis, but that's perhaps in part because I recognized that trying to force issues as a routine thing or be dictatorial with them would be counterproductive.
As a parent, I didn't use a punishment model because I believed that would backfire with my kids. Maybe it kind of works with some kids, but I was sure that would be a case of "There will be hell to pay" in my home.
Studies typically show that every dollar invested in the health, welfare and education of preschoolers saves multiple dollars down the line on things like prison. Of course, we still need some means to address the issue when things go sideways, but it's problematic to focus overly much on addressing problems at that late stage.
We have jokes about "the third world country of America" because America does a relatively poor job of designing a society that generally works for most people and prevents issues as much as possible. Instead, we deal with problems after they develop at a point when they are much harder to address and when any optimal outcomes are no longer possible.
In addition, there's a saying that "locks don't keep criminals out, they just keep honest people honest". I think it's likely that punishment at least serves a similar role.
Granted, I think we would probably both agree that the US justice system (for example) is too focused on punishment and not enough on rehabilitation.
But the article in question is about a human trafficker. How does giving a human trafficker "education" (free college?) deter them from doing more trafficking?
In my experience, you have to pick something - and nothing is perfect or works all the time. It is usually worse not picking something (inaction) or being inconsistent in what you pick (wildly varying expectations/results).
How this applies to the current thread is up to the reader.
The irony is that these systems do not achieve restitution. The victims may experience righteous indignation, but that will soon fade away. Meanwhile the perpetrators gets to spend a few years among their peers in crime university.
> The Swedes
That is a reformative incarceration system.
It's a multi-variable system. It could be that other conditions and effects override what is, in other circumstances, a solid deterrent.
Threat of long imprisonment works great on the guy who doesn't want to lose his cushy job and easy life. It doesn't work as well on someone with nothing and no hope of gaining anything.
Saying it doesn't serve as a deterrent for a certain class of individual is a fair statement, saying it doesn't work, full-stop is most certainly wrong.
is this actually true? as I understand it, we are well past the peak of criminal activity ( at least in the US).
Deterrence is a nice in theory, but it depends on awareness among the general populace, and depending on people being aware is not a good start to any policy.
Is this some epistemological Zeno's paradox type incredulity?
Racist sentimemts could be exploited for this in a very humorous way. Imagine hackers being exiled to Mexico, and being let in on the precondition that they spend the first X years working on improving Mexico's public infrastructure.
I think people would even volunteer to do that for free if the willingness was there, but it isn't really.
I’m not sure why so many people think it’s an equivalent punishment.
Don’t people think that he would’ve been willing to hurt others who crossed his path in order to keep his secret?
Many people, introverts, like me, are more annoyed by people than needing company. I've dreamed about living in exile out in the wilderness (it's too much effort and risk for me so I haven't). Other's have done it voluntarily.
It's vastly better than prison.
Also, the entire system is built around "justice", not retribution. People should only be imprisoned for as long as necessary to repay their debt to society or until they can prove they're no longer a threat to society (e.g. they've reformed), whichever happens first.
Seems to me if there is no real punishment, there is no deterrent keeping the person from doing it again as soon as they are released: "Oh wow, I trafficked women and all I got was a few years of psychotherapy in which all I had to do was smile and nod? That wasn't bad at all, I have no remorse, and I'll do it again, this time learning from my mistakes so I don't get caught!"
For example, John Newton was a slave trader before finding God, becoming an abolitionist, and writing "Amazing Grace".
The Apostle Paul was at least an accessory to murder before his conversion.
I'm sure that there are examples outside of Christianity. That's just my background so its what I know.
He was also living near his hometown. So “cut off” is a bit less likely than mostly under the radar.
These two environmental conditions can have varying impacts on a person's mind.
He stole food and propane tanks from the vacation homes in the area. When he was eventually caught and put in jail for all of the theft people remarked at his strange use of language. They claimed he talked like a book.
The criminal has decided to break the social contract, our agreed rules and impinge on our peace and freedom; therefore society will now impose a sentence on him, restoring some balance, easing minds.
Punishment? This clearly was less harsh, or he would not prefer it.
Protecting society? He roams free.
A deterrent? Leaving him there would send the message to others that escaping and evading capture is a viable route to freedom.
This could mean mental health evaluation and treatment, addiction counseling, education and job training to help them learn a skill, and restorative justice.
I'd say none of these things happened in a cave.
I think it should be brought in, evaluated, and released if he no longer poses a threat.
The fact that it was less harsh does not mean it was not harsh enough; meaning that chineese concentration camps might be disproportionately harsh to the crime (although his crimes were among the worst, so...)
> Protecting society? He roams free.
That's an exaggeration, I highly doubt that he could roam free. His maximum radius of travel must have been severly limited, given no access to transportation, plus it looks like so, as he did not move away from that, high risk area.
> A deterrent? Leaving him there would send the message to others that escaping and evading capture is a viable route to freedom.
Nonetheless, it is a viable route to freedom. It would be enforced/promoted if they left him though.
Give the condemned a backpack of provisions, the cut them loose into the Exile Zone.
“The 63-year old, named Song Jiang by the police, had been jailed for trafficking women and children but escaped from a prison camp in 2002.“
It is spelled out clearly in the article why:
> The 63-year old, named Song Jiang by the police, had been jailed for trafficking women and children but escaped from a prison camp in 2002.
So there is no tech or surveillance story here. Only the use of a relatively common high tech gadget aiding good old fashioned police work.
For example consider speeding laws we can actually approach perfect enforcement using GPS data and engine management. But then the question becomes how does the archaic law morph when perfectly applied? Should _every_ driver who _ever_ speeds be charged the fine? That is roughly every driver every time they drive whom uses the highways near me. And how often should they be charged? Each time they exceed the speed limit (for example if speedlimit is 65 and I brake to 64, then speed to 66 several times, is that several tickets?) ...
I suspect that most of our laws have been written without grace/forgiveness knowing that we used to only catch a small percentage of perpetrators, and likely the most egregious of them (assuming frequency & magnitude would increase probability of being caught). What ought do if that percent sky rockets, but the laws were designed for the former value?
Or that we can choose not to prosecute in order to use their testimony against a bigger fish. It's called prosecutorial discretion, and it seems reasonable at first, but it's responsible for the slow encroachment of government in all aspects of private life. After all, why change or protest a law you break every day if it will never be used against you?
Everyone probably breaks multiple laws a day without realising it.
If everyone that broke any law had to be charged and prosecuted, we would have a much more politically engaged populace, a much more efficient process to appeal judgements and repeal unjust laws.
Maybe it's easier to just pay the speeding ticket because to fight it would cost 10x in lawyers fees. That's not justice, it's just economic extortion.
It's amazing this guy survived. It's close to a miracle he did it alone.
Then bootstrap that up from a birth certificate to a social security card and so on.
I imagine it's not that simple anymore.
Predator drones were deployed in the middle east in 2000 but were in use from 1995 in the Balkans. Quadcopters are new though.
17 years and people were living online lives. With Web 2.0 which began a couple of years later around 15 years ago. There's not much that has changed fundamentally which could cause a psychological shock.
Now, if he was on the fun since 1980 maybe ... but 2002 was just around the corner (at least for the type of people who read HN).
Quadcopters wouldn't have even been possible without serious advances in battery technology and radio infrastructure.
There was no reason for him to expect the police would've had access to these kind of resources.
> 17 years and people were living online lives. With Web 2.0 which began a couple of years later around 15 years ago. There's not much that has changed fundamentally which could cause a psychological shock.
Even just the invention of the smartphone would be alien to him. I think you may have lost perspective on how different it is. People did not expect to be connected like we are today. It's obvious in hindsight but nobody could have predicted it.
There was no way he expected the police to have this technology and a desire to use it against him specifically.
He also didn't read HN- he's barely able to communicate in his native language according to the article.
I guess a re-do of "My Side of the Mountain" would be completely different in 2019!
The article I read about it in Turkey showed it as a kind of cultural heritage thing, not a poverty thing.
The article I read about it in China was about the Chinese government forcing people who live in caves to move to cities, where they have no social nets or coping skills. Apparently there is some huge number (hundreds of thousands? millions? I forget) of people in China who live in caves in the western part of the country, and Beijing considers their lifestyle an embarrassment.
Maybe moving completely out of the area, buying a used car cash and driving to another state entirely?
Somehow getting himself into Mexico and boarding a ship somewhere in south america or asia?
I wonder if these days with all the surveillance it really takes living in a cave to get away from law enforcement.
Sadly, both justify.com and justify.it are squatted it appears.
Petty criminals are another story entirely. We could easily let human officers fire at will if we supported it as a society, but we don't, so automating that is not a natural step forward.
On the other hand, simply using the recognition side of the equation is a more slippery slope. Wanted posters have been accepted for centuries, so this is in many ways just an improvement on what police already do. But just because something is accepted as a necessary evil doesn't mean that it is still acceptable at orders of magnitude greater efficiency.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_holdout even mentions “Shigeyuki Hashimoto and Kiyoaki Tanaka joined the Malayan Communist Party's guerrilla forces to continue fighting, returning to Japan in January 1990”)