Harsh Justice Criminal Punishment and the Widening Divide Between America and Europe

ISBN-10: 019518260X
ISBN-13: 9780195182606
Edition: 2005
Authors: James Q. Whitman
List price: $33.95 Buy it from $16.43
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $33.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 4/14/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 336
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.034

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.

Liam Matthew Brockey is Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University.James Q. Whitman is Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law at Yale Law School.

Introduction
Degradation, Harshness, and Mercy
Contemporary American Harshness: Rejecting Respect for Persons
Continental Dignity and Mildness
The Continental Abolition of Degradation
Low Status in the Anglo-American World
Conclusion: Two Revolutions of Status
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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