The Death of Punishment
Searching for Justice Among the Worst of the WorstBook - 2013
Based on decades of interviews with death row inmates and guards around the country, an expert on the death penalty offers a plan for making the punishment more closely fit the crime.
A passionate and counterintuitive defense of the death penalty that asks us to reconsider punishment as the key to reforming our judicial system
For twelve years Robert Blecker, a criminal law professor, wandered freely inside Lorton Central Prison, armed only with cigarettes and a tape recorder. The Death of Punishment tests legal philosophy against the reality and wisdom of street criminals and their guards. Some killers' poignant circumstances should lead us to mercy; others show clearly why they should die. After thousands of hours over twenty-five years inside maximum security prisons and on death rows in seven states, the history and philosophy professor exposes the perversity of justice: Inside prison, ironically, it's nobody's job to punish. Thus the worst criminals often live the best lives.
The Death of Punishment challenges the reader to refine deeply held beliefs on life and death as punishment that flare up with every news story of a heinous crime. It argues that society must redesign life and death in prison to make the punishment more nearly fit the crime. It closes with the final irony: If we make prison the punishment it should be, we may well abolish the very death penalty justice now requires.
Based on decades of interviews with death row inmates and guards around the country, a nationally known expert on the death penalty offers a much-needed plan for making the punishment more closely fit the crime. 30,000 first printing.