In Defense of Flogging, by Peter Moskos

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What is the best way to punish people? For centuries, humans have sought out for methods to reprimand wrongdoers. We, as a species, have allowed punishment to evolve along with us. From corporal punishment, or flogging as many may call it, to incarceration, humans have searched for the most effective technique to punish people. As time elapsed, imprisonment has become our staple for all crimes and transgressions. With this in mind, many writers have contended that we revisit corporal punishment. These authors include Peter Moskos and Jeff Jacoby. In their works, they both argue for the reintroduction of corporal punishment, i.e. flogging, in society. Within the contents of Peter Moskos’ book, In Defense of Flogging, the author proposes an alternative to incarceration, which he dubs “flog and release.” This system of “justice” involves a choice for wrongdoers between flogging and a prison sentence. Likewise, Jeff Jacoby in his article, “Bring Back Flogging,” suggests that we “readopt” the Puritan’s system of punishment, flogging, and utilize it as an alternative to incarceration. Along with this, he argues that our current penal system, imprisonment, does not produce suitable outcomes. In a nutshell, after thorough analysis of their compositions, the case for flogging as presented by Moskos and Jacoby is unpersuasive.

At the outset, the contention for the reimplementation of flogging proves to be unconvincing. This is so for the reason that the inferences presented by Moskos and Jacoby are unsound. In Peter Moskos’ book, In Defense of Flogging, he makes a titanic assumption stating that: “Prison’s don’t work” (Moskos). This inference can be viewed as unsubstantiated. Where is Moskos obtaining the facts to make this postulation? Tr...

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...wever, Moskos did draw attention to a valid point in his book, In Defense of Flogging, as he expresses: “Perhaps there is another way—neither incarceration nor flogging—that punishes the guilty, provides the convicted with a halfway decent chance of a future, expresses society’s disapproval, and satisfies a victim’s sense of justice.” This concept that Moskos calls discussion to is worthy of note. However, the substitute that he presents, “flog and release,” is far from logical. Besides, as an alternative to endeavoring to castigate crimes, what we really ought to be doing is struggling to prevent crime. In relation, As the Dutch Renaissance philosopher, Desiderius Erasmus, once said, “Prevention is better than cure.” This notion reigns true in the case for a solution to the preclusion of crime in today’s society. Notwithstanding, this is a topic for another time.
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