When Peter Moskos' new book landed on my desk, I wasn't sure if it was going to be a treatise on crime and punishment or some sort of kinky sex manual.Read the rest here.
Its title: "In Defense of Flogging."
You rascal, I thought. Moskos, a former Baltimore cop who teaches law at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, knows how to catch our attention.
It's not giving away too much to say that Moskos doesn't really want to bring back flogging. But he doesn't like our correctional system, either. And as long as we insist on fooling ourselves with well-meaning fantasies like the "war on drugs," he says, nothing is going to get better.
There already are about 14 gazillion other books that will tell you that. So Moskos uses the horror of flogging to focus our minds on the greater horrors that have resulted from the prisons that were invented to replace the lash.
Against that backdrop, Moskos' startling invitation to reconsider the whip, cane and cat-o'-nine-tails doesn't sound so preposterous. At least it gets us thinking.
May 28, 2011
I like when Clarance Page calls me a "rascal"! He writes in the Chicago Tribune: