Chronicles Magazine May 1992

Law and/or Order

All civilization rests upon the executioner. Despite our feelings of revulsion, "He is the horror and bond of human association. Remove this incomprehensible agent from the world, and at that very moment, order gives way to chaos, thrones topple,...

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  • VIEWS

    Fighting Drugs, Taking Liberties

    In the early 1980's, the Reagan Justice Department announced a far-reaching "war" to free the United States from illicit drug use. There was skepticism at the time that government actions could cause such a fundamental change in entrenched public...

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  • VIEWS

    Turning Bad Into Good

    In 1983 I noted in "Just and Painful: A Case for the Corporal Punishment of Criminals" that there were approximately 315,000 individuals incarcerated in federal and state prisons, plus some 158,000 persons in jails of various kinds.

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  • VIEWS

    Vigilante Justice: A Case Study

    When mild-mannered Bernhard Goetz shot four black youths who attempted to rob him in a New York subway in 1984, news reporters inevitably called him the "subway vigilante." But Goetz was not a vigilante; he was not a member of a vigilant group of...

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  • Principalities & Powers

    New World Baseball

    For all the subtle grace that distinguishes Japanese civilization, the esoteric gabble of Western diplomacy seems to elude its leaders. Every few months, some titan of Tokyo pronounces his low opinion of America and Americans, unveiling his view...

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  • Correspondence

    Letter From Prison

    The following is an autobiographical account of a young black man imprisoned in Illinois. I met him in 1985, when I was teaching high school classes at a county jail, and we have kept in close contact ever since.

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