A: Libertarians believe in compensation of the victim, not punishment. However, a murderer might be put to death if that was the compensation that the family wanted most. Because of the finality of this compensation, guilt would most likely need to be unequivocal. The ability to determine guilt with DNA testing has indicated that a number of innocent people have been executed in the past. Some libertarians point to these mistakes as a reason not to give the State authority to execute.
The Libertarian Party takes no formal stand on capital punishment and libertarians differ in their attitude towards it. My personal belief is that a libertarian society should outlaw capital "compensation" AT THIS TIME because of the difficulty in determining unequivocal guilt. If at some time in the future it becomes possible to prove unequivocal guilt, then I may support capital "compensation".
A: Rather than protecting innocent people from violent criminals, the 'Three Strikes' laws have instead resulted in more individuals receiving egregious mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent, victimless crimes. When someone is being locked up for the rest of their life because they had some marijuana in their possession, something is very wrong.
Libertarians support the concept that law should impose penalties proportional to the gravity of the violation of others' rights. Therefore, I oppose the "Three- Strikes-and-You're-Out" laws because they fail to focus on the truly violent career criminals who are the greatest threat to their victims.
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Ben Nighthorse Campbell
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