Thursday, July 2, 1998

Story Idea


I just had an idea which would make an excellent—nay, superb—story. I was thinking about the effectiveness of capital punishment (while reading Brian Aldiss’ “Danger: Religion!) and considering the fact that liberals (not to be denigrating; I was a liberal for many years) claim that statistics show that capital punishment does not deter capital crime. But they never explain why this should be so. I don't think they know. In fact, I don’t think anyone knows what would be a successful deterrent. The problem is that those who make laws for criminals are not criminals themselves and don't know what motivates or deters them. I don’t think anyone knows. I mean, you could ask the criminals what would work, but although this may provide some insight into the criminal mind, the vast majority of criminals are not very smart, and those that are would probably lie to you. So the only real way to find out would be to become a criminal yourself. I imagined myself going out, committing crimes—robberies and such—possibly with a gang of some sort, and coming “home” at night and writing down my feelings and thoughts. I imagined killing a policeman, and writing down my feelings of regret. This, along with notes from speaking to other criminals, would be compiled into a scholarly work of sorts. Of course, a collaboration of some kind would probably have to be established with a mainstream sociologist, who would present the work as his own, compiled from interviews with me and others. Otherwise, it would never be taken seriously. After all, who listens to criminals?

Just remember, make this a work of imagination, not of fiction. Imagine what you would do and write it down.

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