Today there was an article in Helsingin Sanomat where two young Romani women were defending the tradition of blood feud. The people who commented on it were of course horrified.
In the same paper there was also an article about the chemical castration of pedophiles that is now being suggested in France. The idea was fairly popular among the readers.
I find it somewhat, well, uncivilized that the idea of cutting bits of people off (or switching those bits off chemically) is creeping into the Western legal systems. I don't have any rational reason for this: I just find it uncivilized, that's all. I think that criminals are people, too. Who have rights, or at least should.
Sometimes there is no time or resources to be civilized. That's OK. During a war you just shoot in the general direction of the enemy troops and hope not to hit too many civilians. I can live with that, especially as I am not on the receiving end (or the giving end, for that matter). If you find a terrorist who is holding information necessary to save human lives, and absolutely have to torture him or her in order to get that information - hey, you do what you have to do. If a child - or an adult, for that matter - manages to disarm (shouldn't this be "disdick"?) a rapist with a big rusty knife, good. If a gang of hooligans attack some passerby and get shot in the process, tough shit, sucks to be them.
There are moments when you cannot afford to be civilized. The moment when a convicted criminal receives his or her sentence is, however, not one of them.