Monday, December 12, 2005


On the Notion of Punishment as a Deterrent to Crime

Yeah, punishment is important to maintain an orderly and lawful society, and I certainly want to keep criminals off the street, but let's not kid ourselves. I think Shakespeare may have put it best (coming out of Portia's (? of all characters) mouth in the Merchant of Venice):

"The brain may devise laws for the blood, but a hot temper leaps o’er a cold decree."

the book "reflections on hanging" by arthur koestler makes this argument and has a lot of supporting evidence...
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