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NCJ Number: 118761 Find in a Library
Title: Punishment
Journal: Law and Philosophy  Volume:7  Issue:2  Dated:(August 1988)  Pages:179-201
Author(s): S Sverdlik
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 23
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article critiques the concepts of punishment in the theories of three philosophers -- Hart, Feinberg, and Wasserstrom -- and offers the author's own analysis of the concept of punishment, followed by consideration of three practices that seem to be punishment but are doubtful for various reasons.
Abstract: The article notes that one persistent fault in punishment theories is the neglect of the idea that in punishment the person subjected to it is represented as having no valid excuse for wrongdoing. After emphasizing that the concept of an excuse creates a critical complication for any analysis of punishment, the author accepts and explains Wasserstrom's claim that punishment in its very nature is (at least partly) retributive. The author's arguments tend to support those, like Herbert Morris, who have said that punishment accords a certain dignity to the person subjected to it when contrasted with involuntary commitment to a mental hospital. The dignity of punishment is in presenting the one punished as being capable of controlling his/her behavior. Given the author's reasoning about punishment, the article examines the punishment of the innocent, strict liability, and pretrail detention. 31 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Punishment
Index Term(s): Criminal responsibility
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=118761

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