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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims

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Harsh Justice: Criminal Punishment and the Widening Divide between America and Europe


ISBN13: 9780195182606
ISBN: 019518260X
Published: May 2005
Publisher:
Country of Publication: USA
Format: Paperback
Price: £23.99



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Criminal punishment in America is harsh and degrading - more so than anywhere else in the liberal west. Executions and long prision 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.

Subjects:
Criminology