This podcast explores why and how people are punished in the United States and throughout the world, ranging from criminal punishment to disciplining children. Each episode features a fifteen minute interview with a punisher (i.e. a judge or parent), someone punished (i.e. convicts or children), or those who study punishment (i.e. academics). Topics include: Why do we punish at all? How has punishment changed over time? How does punishment differ in other countries? The podcast is always informative, entertaining, and, when the need arises, even a bit irreverent. Listen up...or be punished.
Free Will and Just Deserts w/ Tamler Sommers
In the first part of our interview with philosophy professor and fellow podcaster Tamler Sommers, we discuss the link between free will and deserving punishment.
Revenge Culture w/ Thane Rosenbaum
In the second part of our interview with Professor Thane Rosenbaum, we discuss his (and my) favorite films, books, and music about revenge.
Celebrating Revenge w/ Thane Rosenbaum
In this interview with law professor Thane Rosenbaum, we discuss why revenge is a good thing and how our criminal justice system has failed to recognize this.
The Death of the Death Penalty? w/ Austin Sarat
In this wide-ranging interview with capital punishment expert Austin Sarat, we discuss the new abolitionist movement's arguments against the death penalty as well as Professor Sarat's own study of botched executions.
Animal Trials (and Punishments) w/ Katie Sykes
Do you find the idea of a pig on trial for murder or locusts punished for trespass ridiculous? If so (and I hope you do), than the history of medieval animal trials will likely intrigue, disturb, and downright baffle you. Fortunately, Katie Sykes helps us unpack one of the strangest phenomena in the long, lurid history of punishment.
Sex and Punishment w/ Eric Berkowitz
Few acts have inspired more creative, repressive, and downright disturbing punishments than s-e-x. Author Eric Berkowitz joins us for a discussion on the long history of punishing sex, and how recent sex laws can be just as disturbing as those passed during the Middle Ages.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Dr. Shemtob's podcast, Cruel and Unusual Punishment, is a great listen for anyone who is interested in criminal justice on an academic or pop culture level. I continually learn a great deal by listening to his segments. I hope he keeps it up!!!
Original, compelling topics
I really enjoy this podcast and I wish that other podcasts existed that addressed these topics. However, I must admit that I -hate- the intro/outro music. It's really spooky and doesn't put me in the right place to listen to a podcast.
The Doctor is In
I am not typically a podcast kind of guy but Dr. Shemtob does a very good job pulling in casual listeners into the complicated and dark world of human punishment. In 40 minutes you get transported to a world of dungeons, demons, panopticons, BDSM, insightful talks, and even the occasional joke. Imagine if Opie and Anthony interviewing Michel Foucault...it is a funny thing to think about, but that is exactly what listneing to this podcast is like. It is a mad, mad world, and we are all living in it, according to Dr. Shemtob. Subscribe to the podcast... Or be punished! *laughs evilly*