Posted by | January 28, 2012 16:06 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

We knew the Republicans favored an economic policy that was last used in the 19th Century.  And their treatment of science comes out of the 17th Century. And now it looks like some on the far right are moving to a criminal justice policy that is at least 100 years out of date (from Ed Kilgore’s “wingnut of the week”).

From several worthy possibilities, I’ve decided the inaugural honoree has to be Rep. Larry Pittman (pictured) of North Carolina, who spoke for many righteous (or self-righteous) people in calling for a return to public hangings. Apparently angered by a public letter from a death row inmate boasting of his continuing ability to live and breathe, Pittman said in an email to his colleagues:

If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well.

I’m not sure if I’m more surprised that he is calling for public hangings, or that he isn’t calling for burning witches at the stake.

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Copyright 2012 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.