Prosecution as a deterrent

I just came across this tidbit about the Texas Ebola case:

“He lied on his form,” Mr. Kesselly said. “If he had answered truthfully, he would have been sent to secondary screening immediately and not allowed to leave.” Mr. Kesselly said Mr. Duncan would be prosecuted upon his return for lying on the questionnaire.

Also, he has EBOLA, so, that’s kinda a drag.

For an odd connection, I was reminded of this discussion on the Dish today about whether abusive parents should be prosecuted or punished. One reader (a survivor of childhood abuse) argues:

To take away my father’s livelihood or jail my parents would have been like dropping a nuclear warhead upon us. I doubt that I would have survived the chaos that ensued from that kind of retribution from society. This “Gotcha” mentality that exists today is just another example of destroying the village to save it.

In both of these cases, the criminal prosecution is not intended to rectify the relevant situation. The Ebola has already come to the US; the abuse has happened. Prosecution is for the next time. I hate to use the phrase, but it is for “the greater good.”

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