NEW RESOURCES: Lapham's Quarterly--"Crimes and Punishments"

The latest edition of Lapham’s Quarterly features essays from a wide variety of authors reflecting on crime and punishment. At least one of the articles, by Christopher Hitchens, focuses on the death penalty. In “Staking a Life,” Hitchens draws on his background in religion, morality, and government to explore why the United States continues to utilize capital punishment while many of our allies have abandoned it. “I have heard a number of suggested answers: two in particular have some superficial plausibility,” he writes. “The first is an old connection between executions and racism, and the second is the relatively short distance in time that separates the modern U.S. from the days of frontier justice.” He concludes: “At once too random and too institutional and systematic, this dire [death penalty] business has now become an offense both to law and to justice.”

The magazine features a variety of essays and art depicting crime and punishment from around the world. (See C. Hitchens, “Staking a Life,” in Lapham’s Quarterly 207, Spring 2009). See Articles.