Will allow criminals to choose between corporal punishment or jail.
Espen Schaanning, professor in the History of Ideas at the University of Oslo, believes public whippings are a constructive alternative to being sent down.
“Whip them over a period of a few days, and get it over with,” he tells Dagbladet.
Schaanning continues by saying that he sees no reason for not offering convicted criminals a choice between, for example, 20 lashes, and time inside.
“It’s more of a constructive alternative for lawbreakers with family,” he says, going on to argue that the prison service is ineffective as a crime-prevention method.
Professor Espen Schaanning
University of OsloThe professor believes prisons are a waste of resources; arguing that whipping is a good alternative to using a lot of money by locking criminals up, and letting them rot in a cell for years.
Oslo jail’s head of information, Knut Erik Rønningen, supports Schaanning’s suggestion of offering criminals the choice, saying that jail terms only serve as a torment to those who are worst off in every respect.
“What’s the point of that? What happens to the inmates in here is irrelevant; it’s when they come out again that the problems start. Nobody wants anything to do with them,” he says.
Flogging a dead horse?
Meanwhile, Per Sandberg, the Progress Party’s (FrP) head of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Justice, thinks the professor’s idea is one of the most bizarre things he’s ever heard of, and that it won’t solve crime.
“Our (country’s) professors never cease to amaze me. I don’t think 10-20 lashes of the whip will work at all, as it will be business as usual for (criminals) afterwards.”
Whilst Fridtjof Feydt, a criminal defence lawyer, doesn’t discount the idea.
“Many of my clients would have chosen whipping as an alternative to spending years behind bars.”
And according to Rønningen, prisons exist just for reasons of public opinion, rather than serving to reform offenders.