“The fact that cruel and degrading treatment of human beings is wrong has already been conclusively established, for example in a best selling book available free of charge in most motel rooms.”
This is not an argument which a person wins by citing cases or finding ways in which the Constitution might conflict with treaty obligations the United States voluntarily entered into. This is a question of right and wrong, and there are certain things a civilized society does not do. … I face the curious accusation that I oppose torture in order to sell copies of my book. … Nobody should pay $55 in order to hear from me a new and insightful argument against torture. The fact that cruel and degrading treatment of human beings is wrong has already been conclusively established, for example in a best selling book available free of charge in most motel rooms.
— Richard Painter, guest-blogging at the Volokh Conspiracy, and responding with more self-restraint than I could have summoned to the pro-torture arguments offered by the sick, sadistic, sad sacks of sh*t who crawl out of the woodwork and into the VC comments pages whenever the torture issue comes up.
* “… a question of right and wrong…”
* “… a best-selling book …”
Author: Mark Kleiman
Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out.
Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken)
When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist
Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993)
Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989)
View all posts by Mark Kleiman