Notre Dame University law professor Stephen Smith (a fellow graduate with me of UVA Law’s class of 1992) busts the mythical claim that the United States has no abnormally – and unnecessarily – high rate of incarceration. Here’s his well-grounded conclusion:
We would be much better off as a society—both safer and truer to our libertarian ideals—if we reserved prisons and jails exclusively for our most dangerous and most incorrigible criminals, made serious efforts to rehabilitate instead of merely warehouse inmates, and relied on less-invasive means to address other social problems.
“Personally what I fear the most is the way in which people will respond, at the end of the emergency, to the major economic wreckage we will have to deal with. Lots of observers tend to assume that the virus has damaged populism, as now demagogues (including Trump) were forced to pick “experts” who are at the helm of our countries. But interventions validated by experts may backfire too. We may end up with a society which is less dynamic, more fearful, and more dependent on government than ever” – so writes the ever-wise Alberto Mingardi.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Stanford University medical professors Eran Bendavid and Jay Bhattacharya make the case that COVID-19 is likely much less lethal than is now commonly supposed. Here’s their conclusion:
A universal quarantine may not be worth the costs it imposes on the economy, community and individual mental and physical health. We should undertake immediate steps to evaluate the empirical basis of the current lockdowns.