Category Archives: Prison

Traditional forms of punishment: Britain* 1700-1900

Traditionally, British judges sentencing criminals had five principal options: capital punishment, corporal punishment, exile, imprisonment and torture. Judges sentencing criminals to ‘savage’ sentences were using proportionate and appropriate punishments according to the expectations of the time. The sentences were anticipated … Continue reading

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Film Review ~ The Death of Stalin (Steve Buscemi and Simon Russell Beale)

The court of Stalin was populated with cringing, bullying, mediocre psychopaths. Psychopath-in-chief Beria (Simon Russell Beale) moves from a boozy, jocular meeting with Stalin straight to the torture chambers of ‘his’ prison. Throughout the film he jokes about torture. Lists … Continue reading

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Rudolf Hess, Rolf Harris and humanitarian sentencing

“There is to my mind no justification for keeping Hess in prison any longer. He is 88. He has been in prison for 40 years. He has been without the company of other prisoners for over 16 years. Humanitarian reasons … Continue reading

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Solitary Confinement: US style

Bruce Ward , imprisoned in Arkansas since 1990, has been in solitary confinement through-out that period i.e. 27 years. “He spends all day and night in a cell measuring 12 ft by 7.5 ft (3.6 metres by 2.3 metres) with … Continue reading

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American capitalism at its amoral best

You can buy prison-cell upgrades in California for $82 a night and purchase the right to immigrate to the United States for $500,000. Susskind, Richard; Susskind, Daniel. The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human … Continue reading

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The Californian referendum on the death penalty: Proposition 62 (8th November 2016)

California voted on the death penalty through Proposition 62 (8th November 2016) . Currently 31 states in the USA have the death penalty with California a relatively late convert in 1978. Interestingly the November review of that decision rarely strayed … Continue reading

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Prisons Aren’t Care Homes

The “creditor” always becomes more humane to the extent that he has grown richer.… It is not unthinkable that a society might attain such a consciousness of power that it could allow itself the noblest luxury possible to it—letting those … Continue reading

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