Monthly Archives: February, 2014

“To Make Live and Let Die”: the State of Capital Punishment

With news of the recent governor-issued moratorium on the death penalty in my former home of Washington State, I have found it an interesting time to explore the reality of capital punishment today. With this moratorium, Washington joins seven other states under either a de facto or de jure suspension and echoes the on-going trend towards abolition of the practice on a global level. Continue reading →


Cost-Benefit of Non-Violent Incarceration

One of the UK’s leading newspapers, the Daily Telegraph, recently published an article featuring scathing criticism of the country’s inadequate rate of incarceration for “sex attackers, violent criminals and burglars”.  Like many groups or people who abhor the perceived liberalization or relaxation of the justice system, the Telegraph went on to identify this as a failure of the government to address so-called “soft” sentencing for the worst categories of offenders. The reality of what these numbers reflect may be quite different, however. Richard Garside of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies provided a sound rebuttal to the alarmist tone of the Telegraph article, suggesting that the numbers presented do not tell the whole story, both in terms the reason for sentencing discrepancies (e.g., was the crime committed one that actually involved violence or was this offender otherwise a threat to public safety?) and the overall rate of crime. Continue reading →