Book Review: In Defense of Flogging


In Defense of Flogging

By Peter Moskos

BASIC BOOKS

Though its title suggests a Swiftian satire, this book by criminal justice professor Peter Moskos is a genuine call to reinstate flogging as a voluntary alternative to incarceration. The author, a former Baltimore police officer, opens with a simple query: “Which would you choose?” For those who consider flogging barbaric, he cites prison overcrowding, mental-health neglect, gang rape, and post-incarceration homelessness. Warehousing criminals is far crueler, Moskos insists. Why not lock up the most-hardened cases and let the rest tend to their damaged hinds and get on with their lives? If our penal system remains “an expensive and immoral failure,” he writes, “then bring on the lash.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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