Criminal Justice: Permanent Punishment

Felony is a catchall word for crimes punishable by anything from more than one year's imprisonment in a penitentiary to death.* In some states, it includes everything from murder and rape to seduction under promise to marry, and even conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor. The trouble with this sweeping definition is that felons often suffer a further punishment—a loss of civil rights that is "often harsh out of all proportion to the crime committed."

Such is the charge by a special task force of the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration...

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