Heading off the Criminal Urge

Over at Quadrant, Theodore Dalrymple considers criminality, the increasing leniency of most Western justice systems, and the effect of crime on its victims.

Leniency is compassionate, severity cruel: such at any rate is the presumption of the intellectual middle classes, who, perhaps feeling guilty at their own good fortune, often inherited, by comparison with the classes from which criminals are usually drawn, find in making excuses for the latter, and in proposing lenient treatment of them, a way of demonstrating their generosity of spirit.

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