chapter
Introduction
Pages 8

The core of punishment is the deliberate infliction of pain on a human being. Punishment is a moral problem because it should always be questionable for human beings, despite their authorized official capacity, deliberately to inflict death or pain on other human beings. In the American constitutional democracy, however, there is no public philosophy of punishment that validates punishment in a theoretically compelling manner. The important fact for this chapter is that there is a mystique of punishment in the United States; a will to punish that exceeds necessity and that is therefore foreign to the spirit of constitutional democracy. Even more, many democrats, including judges, appear to me to write about punishment in a way that is not consonant with the spirit of democracy. Traditional notions of punishment pull people away from punishment in the spirit of democracy. An actual system of punishment is, then, an evil lesser than the evil that would certainly come to exist without it.