On Our Prison Population

“Big deal,” Mr. Bates replied. “So we have a higher percentage of our population behind bars. But that’s where those people deserve to be. Do the crime, do the time.”

“You must have a shockingly low opinion of our country,” Mr. Magundi said, “if you think Americans are more likely to be wicked than people of every other civilized nation. As a patriot, I find your attitude more than a little offensive. You’re lucky I’m a peaceable sort of patriot, instead of one of those patriots with baseball bats. But still, if I were you, I’d refrain from bad-mouthing my country in mixed company.”

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