Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

For the July 4th weekend, please consider these words about the necessary balance between an individual's right to freedom and society's right to punish:

"Every act of authority of one man over another, for which there is not an absolute necessity, is tyrannical. It is upon this then, that the sovereign's right to punish crimes is founded; that is, upon the necessity of defending the public liberty, entrusted to his care, from the usurpation of individuals; and punishments are just in proportion, as the liberty, preserved by the sovereign, is sacred and valuable."
 -Cesare M. Beccaria, An Essay on Crimes and Punishments 20 (Adolph Caso ed., 1984).

And a little rebel music from a man who never forgot that even the unfree are human, too: