Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Briefly Noted

In September 1944, Helmuth von Moltke sat in Berlin’s Tegel prison, awaiting execution. The Nazis had arrested him for organizing the ­Kreisau Circle, a resistance group formed to plan a more democratic future Germany. Helmuth’s death drew near, yet, as his wife Freya wrote to him, “The best . . . . Continue Reading »

Kilmainham Gaol

We stand in crooked lines outside the gate,Where my new bride and I map out our day,As gap-year Germans try to understandWhat their French friend in denim means by “hangry”.The jailers call the Germans to file pastA wall where Irish rebels hung and flailed.We spot a pub across the street and . . . . Continue Reading »

Saving Punishment

Jim was holding his one-year-old son while smoking meth freebase when the oily liquid spilled on the little boy, badly burning him. Technically, it was an accident; the proximate cause was the breakdown in the electrical signals between his besotted brain and his fumbling fingers. Even in that . . . . Continue Reading »

Prisoners Are Calling. Who’s Answering?

Prisons, at the very minimum are intended as quarantine; keeping cities and towns safer by removing criminals from their midst. But, in the opinion of one prisoner in Brazil, he’s more at liberty behind bars than out on the streets. Marcos Willians Herbas Camacho told one reporter, “It is you who are afraid of dying, not me. As a matter of fact, here in jail you cannot come in and kill me . . . but I can order to kill you out there.” Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles