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

James Q. Whitman


Criminal punishment in America is harsh and degrading—more so than anywhere else in the liberal west. Executions and long prison 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? This book takes a comparative legal history perspective and argues that the answer lies in America's ... More

Keywords: criminal punishment, America, execution, prison, social system, state power, offenders

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780195182606
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182606.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James Q. Whitman, author
Yale University