The legal system should not be based on the idea of punishing bad behavior, but on the idea of creating a sustainable society that people would like to live in. Instead of creating a lose-lose situation based on the mentality of “an eye for an eye”, some possible ideas include:
1) There will be no separation between criminal and civil courts. There will be only one court, and all victims will be represented for during the trial. Only crimes defined by the state will be heard. Other claims shall be subjected to the arbitration courts, which uses a lower standard of proof.
2) The court will apply three tests during a trial: (a) did the accused commit the crime, (b) were there victims who suffered harm directly from the crime and (c) can it be reasonably foreseen by a reasonable person that these actions would cause harm? Passing these tests will mean that the accused needs to compensate the victims.
3) It is not possible to claim a legal exemption due to insanity, mental incapacity or lack of intent to commit a crime. The key issue is compensation for the victims, not intent or capacity. A person unintentionally causing harm to another does not excuse him from the obligation to fix the damage as much as possible.
4) Criminals must pay for their own legal fees and the costs of tracking them down. If they do not have enough assets to pay, then the state will be treated as one of their victims.
5) The victim or victims have the right to choose the type of work the criminal will be doing, and how long he will be doing it. This is subject to suitable organizations being willing to adopt the prisoner and having the necessary secured facilities to house the criminal. Half of any pay earned by the criminal will go to his victims. It is possible for the criminal to work for properly-supervised religious institutes, charities, animal shelters and even disaster zones as a means to atone for the harm that they have caused.
6) Criminals who commit crimes while serving their sentence will be confined to prison and used for non-lethal scientific experiments. The scientific benefits, risk and suffering of the experiment shall be proportionate to the damage caused by the crimes.
7) If a criminal is highly dangerous and likely to re-offend, then the courts may sentence him to death to prevent possible jailbreaks and wastage of taxpayer resources. His organs will be harvested and any proceeds used to compensate his victims.