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How exactly would you punish them without costing the state more money?

Chopping off their hands, while the approved response in the Old Testament, just means the guy is on whatever passes for social programs the next day for the rest of his life. Capital punishment makes more sense.

For starters, a blanket punishment is pointless. If these guys are real hardasses, then even a life sentence isn't going to bother them.

If they have _any_ guilt about what they did, then you might have a chance at getting through to them, but you'd have to find a punishment that will mean something to them. But, when was the last time you saw a court hand out a sentence that made yahoo's like this work for free for someone, or go to school's and be living example of what a 'cool' criminal is? Much easier to use a spreadsheet of punishments.

To be honest, I don't see a problem with the sentence. With the legal system lacking the finese to 'hitt 'em where it hurts', the best you can do is tier up the punishment, at each arrest, and hope that they get a clue. The other alternative, is to just forget about two bit criminals and the victimless crimes that they commit...
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