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NCJ Number: 201231 Find in a Library
Title: Two Kinds of Criminal Wrongs
Journal: Punishment & Society  Volume:5  Issue:3  Dated:July 2003  Pages:279-294
Author(s): Stephen P. Garvey
Editor(s): Richard Sparks
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article presents a distinction between two criminal wrongs: a wrongdoer who acts in defiance of his conscience (a wicked wrong) and a wrongdoer who does not act in defiance of his conscience (a vicious wrong) thereby determining the moral message a wrongdoer should try to send through the punishment or penance he/she must endure to atone for his wrongdoing.
Abstract: What makes a crime a crime is the wrong it does, not the harm it causes. In this article, two types of criminal wrongs are distinguished which are derived from a conception of immortality often associated with the Christian tradition. A wrongdoer who acts in defiance of his/her conscience is guilty of what is called a wicked wrong. A wrongdoer who does not act in defiance of his conscience is guilty of what is called a vicious wrong. Wicked wrongs convey a message of insult or contempt for their victim, and wicked wrongdoers send a message of overweening pride in themselves. In contrast, vicious wrongs convey no such message of contempt or insult; vicious wrongdoers display a lack of virtue and fail to live up to the standard of virtue the criminal law expects of everyone. As a result, the penance to which someone submits should aim to show their resolve in the future to live up to, or learn how to live up to, that standard and commit themselves to a process of self-reform. References
Main Term(s): Punishment
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Criminology; Penology; Religion
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