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Judicial CP - April 2001
Houston Chronicle, Texas, 8 April 2001
Redefine cruel, unusual
Prisons and jails are in short supply and the taxpayers build more each year. Application of optional, selective corporal punishment - in lieu of incarceration - would go a long way in reducing this need.
It's time to redefine what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Terms of one, two or more years in prison could (in some cases) be considered cruel and unusual punishment, especially for nonviolent and white-collar crimes.
A lengthy prison sentence where needed is appropriate for violent criminals in order to protect the public. Prison time is also appropriate where reform is the aim and is judged probable with prisoner education.
The costs of new prisons and feeding, housing and caring for prisoners would be reduced significantly by applying corporal punishment and then releasing the guilty to support themselves and benefit society.
J.M. Magner, Houston
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