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NCJ Number: 161629 Find in a Library
Title: Punitive Paradox: Desert and the Compulsion to Punishment
Journal: Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency  Volume:33  Issue:1  Dated:special issue (February 1996)  Pages:94-108
Author(s): T R Clear
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 15
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explores whether there is a just deserts paradox in which carrying out a deserved penalty breaches values underlying the just deserts theory.
Abstract: Proponents of just deserts argue that, as a condition of justice, offenders who deserve to be punished must actually be punished. The author begins with a simple proposition, that deserved punishment may or should not be imposed under certain conditions. He explores values underlying the just deserts rationale in terms of benefits, burdens, and moral education. The benefits and burdens formulation of the just deserts rationale is derived from concepts related to the social structure of democratic societies. The description of just deserts as moral education recasts the benefits and burdens argument in less instrumental and more personal terms. Consideration is paid to consequences of punishment disparities and to the concept of fairness. 25 references and 14 notes
Main Term(s): Criminology theory evaluation
Index Term(s): Corrections research; Criminal justice research; Just deserts theory; Punishment
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