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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200911 Find in a Library
Title: Foreward: Terrorism and Utilitarianism: Lessons From, and for, Criminal Law
Journal: The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:93  Issue:1  Dated:Fall 2002  Pages:1-22
Author(s): Paul Butler
Editor(s): Matthew Burke
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 22
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the similarities between terrorism and criminal justice and how the American criminal justice system relies on utilitarianism.
Abstract: Both punishment and terrorism are viewed as purposeful violence. Terrorists defend the taking of lives for the greater good and social utility is the justification of punishment. This article attempts to make this comparison instructive. These instrumentalist justifications are typically immoral. The difference between criminal justice punishment and terrorists is one of degree not kind. This argument is divided into three parts: (1) defines terrorism and examines it from instrumentalist and more perspectives; (2) examines the concept of moral standing, explaining why and how it matters whether you practice what you preach about violence and morality; and (3) critiques the heavy reliance of our criminal justice system on utilitarianism. A lesson learned from the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, should be a more familiar understanding of the dangers of instrumentalism and the need to recognize those dangers in our criminal law.
Main Term(s): Punishment
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Criminal justice system effectiveness; Incarceration; Prisonization; Sentence effectiveness; Terrorism/Mass Violence
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