Compared to the police, there is significantly less television programming devoted to the punishment side of the American criminal justice system. To a large degree, this can be attributed to the fact that punishment in and of itself is not riveting television. If prisons were set up to look like Bentham's panopticon, for example, viewers would simply spend an hour watching the front of cells just as guards do on a daily basis. Further, the most serious form of punishment in the country—the death penalty—is not broadcast publicly. Television ...

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