The Law: Rehabilitation v. Revenge

The most tragic irony of the American judicial system is the difference in treatment meted out to the accused and the convicted. From presumption of innocence to free legal aid, the rights of the defendant are guaranteed. Once convicted and sentenced, however, the individual becomes society's unwanted stepchild. He is allowed to waste away —and prepare for a continuing life of crime—in that charnel of cynicism and despair, the American prison.

No one is more aware of the contrast between judicial precaution and penal carelessness than Chief Justice Warren Burger. Some find Burger's vehemence on the subject rather odd; he is often...

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