Public Flogging, a Modest Proposal
By Ilana Mercer
In the title of his magisterial novel, Fyodor Dostoevsky paired “Crime and Punishment,” not crime and pardons, or crime and “Civics lessons,” amnesty and asylum. Punishment must closely follow a crime in order to be both effective as a deterrent, as well as to serve as a public declaration of values and norms.
In explaining Texas justice and its attendant values, stand-up satirist Ron White performed the public service no politician is prepared to perform. “In Texas, we have the death penalty and we use it. If you come to Texas and kill somebody, we will kill you back.”
So, where’s such clarity when you need it? Something has gotten into the country’s lymphatic system. The infection is becoming more apparent by the day, not least in the way matters of life-and-death are debated (or not). Continue reading