Retributive desert and deterrence

How both cohere in a single justification of punishment

Authored by: Douglas Husak*

The Routledge Handbook of Criminal Justice Ethics

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  July  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415708654
eBook ISBN: 9781315885933
Adobe ISBN: 9781134619450


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My objective is to sketch a theory to justify state punishment that combines principles of retributive desert with considerations of deterrence and crime control. Any acceptable theory, I believe, must incorporate these distinct components. But how? My first of two sections identifies several background assumptions that I hope are acceptable but for which I cannot argue. My second and final section presents the theory itself and the reasons I believe it to be preferable to alternatives.

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