Hi-Phi Nation

Justice and Retribution

Why punish at all?

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Episode Notes

A woman spends 40 years in and out of prison for shoplifting and finally gets a break from a judge in her late 50s. She uses the opportunity to abolish a jail and transform her city. This week we look at prison abolition and the arguments for eliminating all punishment from the system. From the denial that we have free will to the view that perpetuating injustice disqualifies the state from punishing, we look at whether any of us have the right to punish anyone else and question the very purpose of the criminal justice system.

Guest voices include Marilynn Winn, Gregg Caruso, Michael S. Moore, Erin Kelly, and Kimberly Kessler Ferzan.

For all back episodes from Seasons 1 through 3 of Hi-Phi Nation, visit www.hiphination.org.

Email: hiphination@slate.com

Slate Plus Member Content Bonus Episode

Two Justice Systems

Kimberly Kessler Ferzan on why criminal prevention and criminal punishment should be separate.

About the Show

Hi-Phi Nation is philosophy in story form, integrating narrative journalism with big ideas. We look at stories from everyday life, law, science, popular culture, and strange corners of human experiences that raise thought-provoking questions about things like justice, knowledge, the self, morality, and existence. We then seek answers with the help of academics and philosophers. The show is produced and hosted by Barry Lam of Vassar College.

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  • Barry Lam is the host and producer of the Hi-Phi Nation podcast and is an associate professor of philosophy at Vassar College.

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