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Stefan McDaniel, writing for Public Discourse, invites us to consider a striking (though not original) punitive reward for criminals, argued for by former Baltimore cop Peter Moskos in his own In Defense of Flogging :

“It’s important to say that Moskos seems to mean this seriously. There are some slight hints of retreat, as when he describes his argument as “more thought experiment than policy proposal,” and his light, slightly crude, popular tone, combined with his wearisomely frequent insistence that he himself finds flogging very distasteful, sometimes gives the book a tentative and embarrassed feel. But there is no real question that (i) Moskos thinks caning better than incarceration and (ii) can’t think of anything better than caning. The conclusion is irresistible.

Flogging a la Moskos would be an option offered to convicts who are not “imminent and grave” dangers to society and administered only to those who have been declared medically fit to withstand the trauma; a trained flogger would inflict a prescribed number of strokes to the buttocks in the presence of witnesses, including a doctor who would order the flogging stopped if the criminal’s health seemed in serious jeopardy. It would be intensely painful and leave permanent scars; the former is precisely the point while the latter is a tolerable side effect. Moskos is confident that given the choice between, say, five years in a mysterious and sinister place, separated from all you know and love, and intense but brief pain and humiliation, most people would choose the latter. The suggestion of flogging may seem deliberately extreme, a punishment suggested to underscore just how bad prison is, but is there any other punishment that “punishes the guilty, provides the convicted with a halfway decent chance of a future, expresses society’s disapproval, and satisfies a victim’s sense of justice?” He is inclined to doubt it.”

Read more here . . .

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