A terrible crime is committed, the kind that brings scores of relatives to their knees in grief and sets thousands more on edge; the kind of crime that can lead people to question their own sense of the rightness of the moral order in which they live. A wrong doer is identified. Upon him the moral outrage of the community is turned. Through the expression of that outrage in punishment (originally in the most physical and painful ways), the sense of rightness to the moral order is restored.
[The rest of this post can be read on prawfsblawg where I will be guest blogging this month and next]