Kinds of Retributive Justice

Topics: Crime, Criminal law, Criminal justice Pages: 3 (783 words) Published: September 15, 2010
There are two distinct kinds of retributive justice. The classical definition embraces the idea that the amount of punishment must be proportional to the amount of harm caused by the offense. A more recent version, supported by Michael Davis, discharges this idea and replaces it with the idea that the amount of punishment must be proportional to the amount of unfair advantage gained by the wrongdoer. Davis introduced this version of retributive justice in the early 1980s, at a time when retributive justice was making a recovery within the philosophy of law community, maybe due to the multiple failures of reform theory in the previous years. In the early period of all systems of law the redress of wrongs takes precedence over the enforcement of contract rights, and a rough sense of justice demands the infliction of proportionate loss and pain on the aggressor as he has inflicted on his victim. Incapacitation in the context of sentencing philosophy refers to the effect of a sentence in terms of positively preventing (rather than merely deterring) future offending. Imprisonment incapacitates the prisoner by removing them from the society against which they are deemed to have offended. Cutting off a hand of a thief is also an example; this acts to prevents further thefts in a drastic manner, in addition to its having a deterrent effect on others. Like deterrence, incapacitation can be specific to an individual and/or specific to a particular crime, or can be general in either respect. Deterrence is one of the primary objects of the Criminal Law. Its primary goal is to discourage members of society from committing criminal acts out of fear of punishment. The most powerful deterrent would be a criminal justice system that guaranteed with certainty that all persons who broke the law would be apprehended, convicted, and punished, and would receive no personal benefit from their misconduct. United States policy of deterrence during the Cold War underwent...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about Retributive Justice vs. Restorative Justice
  • Essay on Retributive, Utilitarian and Rehabilitative Justice Compared
  • Retributive Justice Essay
  • Crime and the Criminal Justice System Essay
  • Retributive, Restorative and Political Justice Forms in Relation to South African Experience Essay
  • Utilitarian vs Retributive Essay
  • Restorative Justice Essay
  • Restorative Justice Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free