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Today: Mon, August 3 2015  -  Last modified: April, 26 2007
 Rights, Justice
17 July 2013
Whole-life sentencing is wrong
by Ben Southwood
 sub-topic» Punishment and restitution

Why do we keep people in prison? There have typically been four reasons people have given for punishment of any sort: deterrence, direct prevention, rehabilitation, and retribution. I think it's clear that retribution has no place in a just system, and should be dismissed out of hand. In discussing the import of the others in the question it must always be kept in mind that there is a very strong presumption in any instance that someone should not be in prison. Firstly, this is because prison is the archetypal restriction of freedom, and secondly because prison is extremely costly and we know that there are always other good uses for the resources they take up.

02 September 2012
The Sentence of Death
The Most Privileged Actors Deserve the Most Severe Punishment
by B. Sidney Smith
 sub-topic» Punishment and restitution

Moreover, while the lone deranged gunman may mow down dozens in a manic rage, this is very small potatoes next to the mass death and destruction that the privileged may visit upon their victims. The corporate CEO or bank president who destroys the household savings of millions in the service of his own greed, the politician who visits the devastation of war upon whole societies in service to corruption and ambition or who betrays his oath of office by subverting the rule of law and weakening the very fabric of democratic government—measured by their harm these are the crimes of greatest proportion, and surely call for the greatest punishment society deems fit to impose. Surely, too, these are the crimes that we should most wish to deter.