On Crimes and Criminals

Criminals. Crimes. Punishments. Verdicts. Imprisonments. Fines. All in the name of doing good. To whom? To the "society at large". 

Here is my Facebook status which I updated sometime back:

A criminal may have a super valid justification for having committed his crime. Nevertheless, he remains a criminal. But, what if the criminal doesn't want to be reformed? He doesn't believe in the prisons and the criminal justice system, no verdict affects him, nothing can be done to make him realise what he did was "wrong"? Whereto does the system go? What for are the advocates needed? And, most importantly, what remains of the intrinsic justification of having the blurry myth called LAW?!

I realised that this statement is fundamentally wrong, because it is based on an unverified premise that a "criminal" has a universal definition. That is, I have assumed without evidence that all of us living on this Earth here and now know exactly who is a criminal, what are his/her traits, and what are the crimes doing of which  entails a person to be held as a criminal. Above all, I have also assumed that we have an exhaustive list of "crimes" with us already, and it's just a matter of "Match the Following" - assigning every "accused" with the possible crime s/he may have committed. 

But, where are we headed? On what basis do we accuse someone of having committed some crime? What is the yardstick with which we measure the "just and reasonable to cause to believe that the person is involved in committing the crime"? This, clearly ain't math, and a great amount of discretion goes into deciding it. Is human discretion always reasonable? If yes, it wouldn't have been called "discretion". When No, what's up with Law? 

We HAVE to start somewhere. Somewhere. Some-sane-where. What's sane? Does sanity has a universal definition? Well, does the Universe have a universal definition?!! Is anything permanent? Or I better ask, is whatever that is permanent, real? Is everything that is permanent, only mythical and illusory? Well, life itself is temporary, though real. When this is the case, the converse can as well be said to be true?!

Crimes. Who defines them? Why? Does anyone commit the crimes knowing very well they are doing something "wrong"? Law says it's wrong, because our conscience says so. But then again, are our consciences the same? No, law says its wrong because our reason says so, and reason is always backed by logic, and logic varies. What's logical may not be true. 

So, crimes and criminals are all about basic logic and reason alone? Or, added to them, a tinge of the consciences of the selected few of us who have been lucky enough to hold positions of authority in this dynamic society? May be all of this is an exaggeration. But then, can the question I have asked above be answered? What are crimes? Who are criminals? 


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