Parole and the Rule of Law

This piece at the Library of Law and Liberty is Dalrymple’s most thorough argument to date against the granting of parole. Parole is essentially arbitrary, he argues, and also rewards dishonesty.

…the system of parole for prisoners in practice demands not only acknowledgement of the crime committed – in effect a forced confession if one has not already been made – but an expression of remorse. This is because parole is discretionary: a man who says he committed a crime but is not sorry for it (because, say, the victim deserved or asked for it, and he thought it right to commit it) is unlikely to be granted parole. If he is a successful liar, on the other hand, he may well be. The system of parole can, and in practice often does, reward men for being good liars and punish them for being bad ones.

One thought on “Parole and the Rule of Law

  1. Mark

    This is a very good article. People also receive more lenient sentences if they express remorse during their trials – which is problematic in a similar way.

    But surely half the point of parole is to help prisoners to reintegrate into society. It is not just a reward for expressing remorse. This doesn’t contradict what Dalrymple says, but I think that the reintegration aspect of parole needs to be born in mind as well.


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