Letters, May 15, 1972

Cain Did It

Sir / After reading your Essay "Psychology of Murder" [April 24], I am forced to say that phrases like "Violence is as American as cherry pie" and "sick society"—mouthed and re-mouthed incessantly for shock effect—offend my passion for scientific accuracy.

To impute collective responsibility when only one or a few individuals are involved is not only inaccurate but quite unfair, and it serves only to encourage crime. Crime is committed by those who do it or have it done, and not by the body of society, which is on the whole law-abiding.

If we are to halt crime, we have to...

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