Friday, May 25, 2018

American Evil: A Response to Kleinfeld on Punishment

Andrew Koppelman

I've just published, in the Arizona State Law Journal, a response to recent work by my brilliant colleague Joshua Kleinfeld.  It is available on ssrn, here.  Here is the abstract:

Joshua Kleinfeld argues that American moral understandings are reflected in its system of criminal justice. Far more than Europeans, Americans regard those who have committed crimes as irretrievably defective people whom it is appropriate to lock away for many years. American law regards even minor and first-time criminals as having an unchangeable disposition of hostility or depraved indifference toward all that is good. This paper argues that under either of these understandings of the term, the American criminal justice system itself is evil.

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