BRITAIN: Farewell to Bill Sikes

There are few things the British like better than a thundering good argument about crime and punishment. Some of the great public and parliamentary debates in postwar Britain have been concerned with the end of flogging (1948), the abolition of hanging (1965), the Great Train Robbery of 1963, and the reform of the prison system in the mid-1960s. Last week crime was again the subject of a hotly contested national debate as Britons sought to cope with a new and alarming trend toward violence in Britain's underworld.

The initial shock came after a...

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