Harsh Justice: Criminal Punishment and the Widening Divide between America and Europe

Harsh Justice: Criminal Punishment and the Widening Divide between America and Europe

by James Q. Whitman
     
 

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Criminal punishment in America is harsh and degrading--more so than anywhere else in the liberal west. Executions and long prison terms are commonplace in America. Countries like France and Germany, by contrast, are systematically mild. European offenders are rarely sent to prison, and when they are, they serve far shorter terms than their American counterparts.

Overview

Criminal punishment in America is harsh and degrading--more so than anywhere else in the liberal west. Executions and long prison terms are commonplace in America. Countries like France and Germany, by contrast, are systematically mild. European offenders are rarely sent to prison, and when they are, they serve far shorter terms than their American counterparts. Why is America so comparatively harsh? In this novel work of comparative legal history, James Whitman argues that the answer lies in America's triumphant embrace of a non-hierarchical social system and distrust of state power which have contributed to a law of punishment that is more willing to degrade offenders.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198035312
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
04/14/2005
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
982,527
File size:
545 KB

Meet the Author

James Q. Whitman is Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law at Yale University. He has taught at Stanford and Harvard Law Schools and was trained as a historian at the University of Chicago before taking his law degree at Yale.

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