• The Limits of Retributivism

    Author(s):
    Jacob Bronsther
    Date:
    2021
    Group(s):
    MSU Law Faculty Repository
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/5b21-tp30
    Abstract:
    "Limiting retributivists" believe that the vagueness of retributive proportionality represents a moral opportunity. They maintain that the state can permissibly harm an offender for the sake ofcrime prevention and other nonretributive goods, so long as the sentence resides within the broad range of retributively "not undeserved" punishments. However, in this essay, I argue that retributivism can justy only the least harmful sentence within such a range. To impose a sentence beyond this minimum would be cruel from a retributive perspective. It would harm an offender to a greater degree without thereby increasing the realization of our retributivist ends. Thus, if our nonretributive policy aims required a harsher sentence, the offender's retributive desert could not provide the rationale, and we would need another theory that explains why, if at all, harming an offender as a means of realizing the desired nonretributive good is permissible.
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    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 months ago
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