Friday, December 18, 2015

As goes death, so goes life

As the death penalty continues its slow demise--28 executions this year.  It is important to realize if the death penalty disappears, the battle will turn to a different form of execution, death by life in prison.
In a recent article in the Lewis and Clark Law Review, Some Facts About Life: The Law, Theory, and Practice of Life Sentences, Melissa Hamilton writes, "life sentences occupy unique legal and political statuses."
For instance, life sentences are akin to capital punishment in likely ending in death within prison environs, yet enjoy few of the added procedural rights and intensity of review that capital defendants command. In contrast to term prisoners, lifers cannot expect to reenter civil society and thus represent an exclusionist ideological agenda. The paper reviews whether life penalties remain justified by fundamental theories of punishment in light of new evidence on retributive values, deterrence effects, and recidivism risk.
The next frontier for criminal justice reformers is life in prison.

To read the article CLICK HERE

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