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Aug 19, 2018 at 2:05 AM | Robert Swan

As a non-Lawyer, I may be suffering Legal Fatigue. This account of the Trial of Socrates does not completely match what I was taught at school.

"The  (399 BC) was held to determine the philosopher’s guilt of two charges:asebeia (impiety) against the pantheon of Athens, and corruption of the youth of the city-state; the accusers cited two impious acts by Socrates: “failing to acknowledge the gods that the city acknowledges” and “introducing new deities”.

The death sentence of Socrates was the legal consequence of asking politico-philosophic questions of his students, from which resulted the two accusations of moral corruption and of impiety. At trial, the majority of the dikasts (male-citizen jurors chosen by lot) voted to convict him of the two charges; then, consistent with common legal practice, voted to determine his punishment, and agreed to a sentence of death to be executed by Socrates’s drinking a poisonous beverage of hemlock."

Does this add to your statement, or prove that Law is slow to develop, and should not involve political philosophers?

Aug 19, 2018 at 9:26 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Uibhist a Tuath

Autumn must be on its way, there is evidence of the pitter patter of tiny feet.

I need to buy more peanut butter.

Aug 19, 2018 at 9:09 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

EM. Why have you resuscitated the left-right, libertarian- authoritarian index which you introduced here some time ago? There is still an active discussion thread that you set up. Do you have shares?
Aug 19, 2018 at 7:46 PM | Supertroll

I have never felt the urge to be stuffed into a politically driven pigeon hole, with or without the consent of the pigeon.

What do I score?

Aug 19, 2018 at 9:04 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Supertroll, long, long ago (well last century) my professional qualifications took me to Norwich (and others) where I spent "quite a few" days but never a single night! I have not been back, so cannot confirm whether evidence of my work is still present.

I remain at liberty, but unable to explain why/what I was doing, but it did involve an understanding of how well the Victorians designed and built their prisons. At THAT time, how many UK residents had their own room, (restricted) access to fresh water, a toilet, and functional heating and ventilation, plus regular meals?

The average Victorian, living in an industrial slum or rural hovel probably thought it was far too comfortable a life, to be a proper prison. Times have changed, but attitudes?

From that time, and backed up by more recent Voluntary work that includes those with personal experience, I offer a few comments/thoughts/suggestions ......

Reformed/rehabilitated prisoners do amazing work in Probation Services, Crime Reduction etc that may also involve counselling, talks in schools, inner city projects, getting kids off streets and away from gangs etc etc etc. A Degree in Social Work may teach fancy words to Undergraduates, but it does not offer harsh lessons and experience of life at the sharp end, combined with words of wisdom from the blunt end.

Why aren't teenage offenders given a long day in prison (ie not a night) to see the realities, and be spoken to by some of the "old lags" who may wish they had learned something from their first incarceration as teenagers?

The 1980s film "Scum" starring a youthful Ray Winstone gave an image of borstal and prison life then. Ray Winstone has gone on to better things, but some of those actually in borstal in the 80s are still regular guests of Her Majesty.

The humour of Ronnie Barker in the brilliant "Porridge" remains the image that many retain of prison life. Brilliant but sad. Australians had "Prisoner Cell Block H" where the ratio of Prison Officers to Prisoners was unusually high, perhaps to stop the TV studio walls from wobbling too much.

It was not in Norwich, but a Prison Officer told me about the fate of those hanged in prison.

To keep up the chocolate theme and combine it with Politically Incorrect history.....
The Kit Kat Bar used to be very popular in certain prisons. The foil wrapping was used to prepare heroin for injection. Then they stopped wrapping Kit Kats in foil.

Aug 19, 2018 at 8:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

EM. Why have you resuscitated the left-right, libertarian- authoritarian index which you introduced here some time ago? There is still an active discussion thread that you set up. Do you have shares?

Aug 19, 2018 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Supertroll - my pleasure. I learned something.

Entropic Man - my score was:
Economic Left/Right: -3.0
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.0

Not sure what that says about me, though.

Aug 19, 2018 at 7:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

BBC2 now has a repeat of the Birmingham Clean air propaganda prog

Aug 19, 2018 at 6:11 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Gwen. Thank you for the information upon my local nique. Is there some expectation that I will experience its insides firsthand?
When I first came to Norwich there was always a wonderful smell of chocolate from the local factory (not Frys). Long since closed.

Aug 19, 2018 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Entropic Man
Thanks for that link.
Economic Left/Right: -1.63
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.56

My concern with the death penalty is executing an innocent person, especially one or the wrong race/religion or who supports a cause also supported by terrorists. Too easy for the majority to write it off as just one of those things

Aug 19, 2018 at 2:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterUibhist a Tuath

Supertroll, the tragedy of our penal system is recidivism. "Our" prison system is not significantly worse than the "best", and statistics produced are selectively biased anyway.

The Victorians built new and VASTLY improved prisons to some agreed principles of what "fair" treatment for prisoners involved, and how a purpose designed and engineered building complex could provide the correct environment for punishment AND correction.

Your local prison has a Wikipedia entry with this background and history:

"Norwich opened as a prison in 1887, on the site of the Britannia Barracks (the former home of the Royal Norfolk Regiment). The prison has had a variety of roles over the years, but today acts as a prison for Category B & C inmates. The impressive barrack block which stood behind the facade served as a Category C prison for some years from the 1970s but was demolished in the 1980s and replaced by a modern Category B prison block. The Victorian prison which stands at the end of Knox Road behind the old Barracks site was built in the mid-19th century as part of the reformation of the penal system brought about by the great prison reformers of that time. These included ★Elizabeth Fry.★"

"In January 2003 a report from Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons severely criticised Norwich Prison for factors including poor cleanliness and the failure of its anti-drug and anti-bullying programmes. The report also criticised the lack of work and education opportunities at the jail for inmates.[1]"

"In November 2004 the Prison Reform Trust criticised levels of overcrowding at Norwich Prison. The trust stated that nearly half of all single cells at the jail here holding two prisoners, and inmates were spending too much time locked up in their cells.[2]"

"At around this time Norwich became the only prison in England and Wales to have a unit exclusively for elderly male prisoners (mainly serving life sentences). This has meant that a number of high-profile elderly prisoners have been held at HMP Norwich in recent years."

Who was Elizabeth Fry?
Elizabeth Fry (née , often referred to as Betsy; 21 May 1780 – 12 October 1845) was an English prison reformer, social reformer and, as a Quaker, a Christian philanthropist. She has sometimes been referred to as the "angel of prisons".

Born Elizabeth Gurney 21 May 1780 ★Norwich★, England Died 12 October 1845 (aged 65)
Married Joseph Fry (m. 1800–1845) Quaker, Fry's CHOCOLATE!

"Fry was a major driving force behind new legislation to make the treatment of prisoners more humane, and she was supported in her efforts by Queen Victoria. She was depicted on the Bank of England £5 note from 2001-2016. Fry kept extensive and revealing diaries."

"She met Joseph Fry (1777–1861), a banker and part of the Fry's chocolate-making family, who was also a Quaker, when she was 20 years old. They married on 19 August 1800 at the Norwich Goat Lane Friends Meeting House and moved to St Mildred's Court in the City of London. Elizabeth Fry was recorded as a minister of the Religious Society of Friends in 1811."

Part of the Quaker/Christian/Victorian Chocalate Funded Fry's vision was that armed with a Bible and the solitude to read it, miracles of reform within well designed Prisons would occur. Personally, I find Fry's Turkish Delight more invigorating.

Isn't UEA built on chocolate money aswell?

Aug 19, 2018 at 1:24 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

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