If casual conversation is any gauge, Americans seem to want their justice system to do one thing, and only one thing: punish wrong-doers harshly enough to teach them and everyone else a lesson. “Crime doesn’t pay” is presumably the lesson.
Two 13-year olds toss a shopping cart off a bridge and badly injure a woman? Put them away for 20 years. A drug dealer is caught making a deal across from a public high school? He should get the maximum sentence for threatening young people. Barry Bonds is convicted of perjury over steroid use–something that may be unfair but is no threat to others? Teach him a lesson and put him away in jail.
I found myself arguing with a woman Read More