Flogging is “Unsettling” but Better Than Prison, Says Criminal Justice Expert

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Whipping a Delaware prisoner, circa 1907.

At first glance, flogging appears to be an archaic, cruel punishment too reminiscent of the Dark Ages.  But former police officer and current criminal justice professor Peter Moskos thinks flogging could be one solution to many of the problems facing the criminal justice system — problems such as overcrowding.  Moskos’ new book, In Defense of Flogging, lays out his argument.

In an interview with Salon.com, Moskos said he thinks when compared to prison, flogging is “the lesser of two evils.”

“Taking away a significant chunk of someone’s life is far worse than any punishment that is virtually instantaneous,” he told Salon.  “We should be honest about prison and recognize that we’re sentencing people to years of confinement and torture.”

Moskos admits that flogging isn’t a likely alternative to incarceration, but hopes his book will get people thinking outside the box.

“I wanted to throw a hand grenade into this debate because I don’t really see it going anywhere,” he said.

One thought on “Flogging is “Unsettling” but Better Than Prison, Says Criminal Justice Expert

  1. I can sympathize with that opinion. Even losing one year of your life in prison is a big deal. If there is an alternative that would rehabilitate prisoners in a shorter period of time, I think it’s worth looking into.