Monday, October 15, 2012

Penal Colony for 2 Members of Russian "Punk" Band

In America, many people were shocked to hear that two members of a Russian "punk" band were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for a protest against Vladimir Putin.

1)  Do you believe that two years in a "work camp" is too severe a penalty for these young women?

2)  Do you believe that the Russian authorities had the right to sentence these two young women to such a sentence?  (Some might argue that different cultures have different legal standards - for example, some prisoners are beaten with bamboo canes in Singapore as a punishment.)

3)  The Russian judge seemed to imply that these women were given this sentence because they disrupted a religious service at a famous Russian church.  Do you think they were punished with two years in prison because they disrupted a church service, or because they were attacking Vladimir Putin?

4)  How would this type of situation have been handled in your own country?  For example, if a punk band began protesting in the middle of Saint Patrick's Church in Manhattan, they would certainly be arrested, although they would probably not go to jail.

5)  The judge stated that these young women will "change" and become more responsible as a result of their prison time.  Do you think that prisons can change a person's behavior for the better? 

6)  Many theorists believe that punishment is purely a deterrence to ensure that others do not commit the same crimes.  Do you think that the Russian government was sendeing a message to other protesters by throwing these young women in a penal colony for two years?

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