Retribution

You may easily apprehend that US law enforcement and juridical systems are built upon the idea of incarceration as retribution rather than rehabilitation. Were this construed from nothing else, it would be that the United States has the highest rates of incarceration in the world.

I think you’d have a hard time pinning that particular conclusion down from any one, specific case or dictum and could, I suppose, mistakenly hope that all those people are being jailed for, oh, “therapeutic” reasons. Men of specifically African decent are imprisoned far out of proportion to the alleged crimes, assuming 1 that crimes were 2 ever proved 3 to have 4 been committed 5 (!), and most certainly in greater proportions than European descendants or “merely brown-skinned” for similar or lesser crimes.

The rule behind and underlying political pressure is to punish for prejudices about a person’s perceived nature. It is retribution.


  1. Phil Villarreal, “Texas Refuses To Pay Wrongfully Convicted Man, Garnishes His Wages Instead”. (2011-05-05) (http://consumerist.com/2011/05/texas-refuses-to-pay-wrongfully-convicted-man-garnishes-his-wages-instead.html
  2. “The Innocence Project of Texas is dedicated to overturning wrongful convictions and securing freedom for men and women wrongfully imprisoned for crimes that they did not commit.” (http://ipoftexas.org/”) 
  3. “The Innocence Project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exoneration wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.” (http://www.innocenceproject.org/
  4. “Wrongfully Convicted Death Row Inmate Wins Civil Suit with Help from Virginia Law Students” (2006-05-11) (http://www.law.virginia.edu/html/news/2006_spr/washington.htm
  5. “Wrongly convicted get $80,000 a year in Texas: Restitution includes college tuition, job training and financial advice”. (2009-09-04); (http://www.nbcnews.com/id/32692576/ns/us_news-life/t/wrongly-convicted-get-year-texas/
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