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July 22, 2013

"Mass Incarceration and the Making of Citizens"

The title of this post is the title of this intriguing essay by Benjamin Justice now available via SSRN. Here is the abstract:

In The Spirit of Laws, Montesquieu famously observed that the legal system of a given state ought to exist in harmony with its overall organization of power. In a republic, he argued, the people are sovereign.  Thus there must be laws regulating mass education to enhance civic virtue, teaching the people to love the laws of their country above their individual self interest.  The laws of crime and punishment, too, must comport with the spirit of the government they support.  In a healthy republic, wrote Montesquieu, a virtuous people require little punishment.

If Montesquieu is correct, the rise of the American carceral state signals a profound challenge to the democratic nature of our government.  This essay reviews three recent books on the rise of the carceral state as part of a broader discussion of the role of criminal justice in making citizens.

July 22, 2013 at 09:47 PM | Permalink


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The carceral state is the mere result. The cause is the 20 million FBI Index felonies, all caused by the all out assault on the family, the church, the school, the corporation, the public self help, and all other sources of moral authority, save worthless government, by the internal traitor, Inquisitorial, vile feminist lawyer and its rent seeking male running dogs. Montesquieu had never encountered anything like this hierarchy of treason. This elite must be stopped by arrest, a fair trial for an hour, and summary execution, if the nation is to be saved.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 23, 2013 7:09:15 AM

S.C., I have a new name for you: "General Field Marshal Cinque." I also have a new/old slogan for you:

"Death to the fascist insect that preys on the life of the people."

Your communications with the public make about as much sense as his.

Posted by: onlooker12 | Jul 23, 2013 10:30:52 AM

Onlooker 12: That was the Ad Hominem of the Day. Made me do internet research. We do share a taste for Maoist phrases, and I advocate a Cultural Revolution in law school. Students would bang their Little Red Books on the desk whenever a professor makes a supernatural statement. Big dunce caps should be placed on their heads, and they should be paraded out on their way to reeducation camps, where they may tend to pigs.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 24, 2013 3:45:10 AM

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