Therapeutists as Teachers of Evil

At the Library of Law and Liberty, Dalrymple highlights “the potential for tyranny” of a “seemingly humane theory”, that of punishment as therapy:

The peculiarity of this approach is that it allows every man a rape or many rapes – indeed many crimes of any description – provided only that experts determine that he will now desist, for prognosis is everything and justice nothing, in the sense of retribution for past misdeeds, nothing. Even if prognosis were a science much more accurate than it is or ever likely to be, this would do tremendous violence to our sense of justice. If you believe in the therapeutic theory of response to crime, you would have set Heinrich Himmler free, had he survived, because it was unlikely in the new political circumstances that followed military defeat that he would ever have committed similar crimes again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *