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Alphomism - a belief system for our times.
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For the Alphomist, justice is a combination of love and truth. Every effort must be made to determine the truth in criminal matters and then, if responsibility for a crime is established, the court must act with love in deciding the fate of the wrongdoer.

This contrasts strongly with the current practice of treating the malefactor with something close to hatred but such an approach is demeaning to the officers of the court and counter-productive to the evolutionary process. Rather than making speeches such as. ‘You are evil and will pay the full price’, judges should have an attitude of regret that the crime happened and that the sanction has to be imposed.

In sentencing criminals, judges must obviously work within the statutory limits of the sanctions but must show that they will be applied, otherwise they will lose their efficacy. In deciding the severity of penalties, it will be entirely proper for judges to bear in mind the need to protect society. The conclusion that someone is too dangerous to be free is very different from the one that the person is ‘evil’ and has to suffer.

Judges sometimes, almost on a whim it seems, decide to ‘make an example’ of an individual and dole out a maximum sentence. This should certainly not happen. The current rate of sentencing is an indication as to how seriously society is taking particular crimes. If there is an increase in concern about a particular matter then a public announcement should be made that, henceforth, those convicted of the stated offence can expect harsher treatment. Ideally, such variations in tariff should be determined only by the law-makers. It is the elected representatives of the people who should decide the priorities.

When sentencing people to custody, judges should be able to offer two options. Criminals should be able to choose whether they spend their time in prison doing whatever is required of them in terms of work or whether they go to an establishment which offers programmes designed for personal change.

Inevitably, some who have no intention of making the effort to change will choose what they might see as the softer option but they will soon discover that they have made a mistake. Some will, perhaps, begin to change in spite of themselves. Those who seem not to be cooperating will be transferred, after due process, to a time-serving establishment. Those who remain, genuine self-reformers or just good actors, will go through the appropriate programmes and some will profit, as, of course, will society, from their change of attitude.



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