"Condemn the fault and not the actor of it?" / by kevin murray

From Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, Angelo responds: Condemn the fault and not the actor of it? Of which, the meaning of this is that it doesn't make any logical or legal sense to Angelo, that a fault be condemned without also the actor of the fault suffering the appropriate legal punishment for having committed such.  So then, his argument is that faults or crimes, have actors of those things, and it is those actors that must suffer the consequences of their bad actions.


This seems to be a reasonable position to take and in fact jurisprudence throughout much of the world, punishes those that commit crimes, based on the crime so committed, of which, the perpetrators that enacted those crimes are the ones that suffer for having committed crimes.  Yet, centuries of crime and punishment, has not eliminated crime, and progressive countries such as the United States, which helped to introduce to the world the modern penitentiary system, must surely realize that penitentiaries have been a near complete failure, especially in consideration that such was created under the aegis that those convicted of crimes, would be incarcerated and through those controlled circumstances of being away from the vice and temptations of the world, would subsequently develop a good conscience and take to heart moral lessons of merit, to reform those that had erred.  That, for the most part, has not occurred.


In point of fact, those crimes worthy of condemnation, have actors that apparently cannot escape the personal condemnation of having committed those crimes, of which those actors, in many instances, are condemned not just for a period of time, or for the period of their incarceration, but rather, for all intents and purposes, condemned forever, by virtue of the fact that their opportunities, circumstances, and quality of life, is forever negatively tainted.


This would so indicate that for real comprehensive change to occur that the fault that each given individual commits should more often be looked at in a manner that separates the bad deeds, from the actor of those deeds.  For instance, there is not a single person that is without fault, yet, some suffer greatly for their faults, whereas others are forgiven of their faults.  This, in itself, is hardly fair, and especially unfair is when similar faults are treated in radically different ways, depending upon the influence of a given individual, the power of a given individual, the legal representative of a given individual, the policing arm of the state in its interaction with a given individual, and the law as interpreted by a judge in regards to a given individual.


That is to say, some faults are not condemned at all, depending upon the actor of it, whereas other faults are condemned for a certainty, because of the actor of it.  This would surely indicate that when the jurisprudence of a country determines whether a crime has been committed not by looking at the crime, itself, but rather by making a determination solely based on the actor of it, then it has missed the forest for the trees.    So that, fair to say, the resources of a nation should be spent more on alleviating the conditions, mindset, and ignorance that leads to crime, as opposed to dealing with such in an uneven manner, after the fault has already been committed.