The Crime Report: A lot of people have compared your book to Jonathan Swift’s essay, “A Modest Proposal.” But Swift’s work was pure satire, where yours is an honest look at a possible alternative punishment. Does the comparison frustrate you, or is it apt?
Peter Moskos: Neither. I like the comparison. True, I don’t think Swift was really proposing eating babies; (while) I am seriously proposing giving the choice of being flogged. But I do see the book primarily as a thought experiment, having a little intellectual fun. In that sense, I think it is somewhat like “A Modest Proposal.” My book isn’t a satire, but I am trying to address real issues and be a bit provocative. So it’s not a crazy analogy.
June 27, 2011
A Q & A
In the Crime Report: