By Robert Blecker
'Let the punishment fit the crime.'
We have declared this for centuries as our essential credo, the very essence of justice, even as our criminal justice system today mocks that aspiration.
Thousands of hours inside prisons and on death rows in several states of the US these past twenty five years only confirms it for me: We have largely abandoned justice by largely abandoning punishment itself. We retributivists who call for the death penalty, but only for the worst of the worst, defend a punishment of death as consistent with – nay sometimes necessary for- human dignity.
We also insist on a sentence of life without parole to supplement or supplant death as punishment that truly punishes. Opponents dismiss us as bloodthirsty and inhumane, but let's see what a commitment to human dignity and justice really entails.
Consider the victims of a particularly brutal murder – like the one in Connecticut where two men broke into a family home in the middle of the night, rapedRead More »from If you’re really compassionate, you’d support the death penalty