Mon. Dec 11th, 2023

Punitive Excess – The Abuse of America’s criminal legal system

America’s criminal legal system is unduly harsh due to abuse by over zealous low functioning prosecutors. These prosecutors have civic duties but have no civic minds. They are supposed to have temprance as leaders, yet they shame their position.

Experts explain how we got here and solutions that will benefit everyone.

America can’t shrink its reliance on mass incarceration until we confront our approach to punishment. These essays by renowned experts in a variety of fields focus on our deep-rooted impulse to punish people in ways that are far beyond what could be considered proportionate. Together, they illustrate how necessary it is to rein in the punitive excess of the criminal legal system, which is inexorably entwined with the legacy of slavery. They also highlight how we have marginalized poor communities and people of color through criminalization and punishment.

Addressing a range of issues — from policing to prosecution to incarceration to life after prison — the writers highlight how our nation has prioritized excess punishment over more supportive and less traumatic ways of dealing with social harm. The essays explore whether, when, and how we could have made different decisions that would have changed the way these systems of punishment and social control evolved.

Looking ahead, they also ask how we can learn from this failed experiment with mass incarceration and prioritize human dignity over human misery.

We hope this series will spur increased discussion on these vital topics. source