Punishment, Socially Deprived Offenders, and Democratic Community

Criminal Law and Philosophy 7 (1):121-136 (2013)
Abstract
The idea that victims of social injustice who commit crimes ought not to be subject to punishment has attracted serious attention in recent legal and political philosophy. R. A. Duff has argued, for example, a states that perpetrates social injustice lacks the standing to punish victims of such injustice who commit crimes. A crucial premiss in his argument concerns the fact that when courts in liberal society mete out legitimate criminal punishments, they are conceived as acting in the name of all citizens—on behalf of the whole political community. Resisting this premiss, Peter Chau has suggested that courts ought to be conceived as acting only in the name of “just citizens”: citizens who cannot be plausibly seen as having contributed to distributive injustice. When conceived in this way, Chau argues, courts can no longer plausibly be regarded as lacking standing to punish. This article uses the debate between Duff and Chau to explain why the question of whether to punish socially deprived offenders can only be answered adequately when connected to broader concerns of democratic theory. Specifically, it argues that Chau’s proposal is not available within the context of the kind of political community upon which (Duff rightly believes) a system of liberal criminal law depends for its justification and maintenance: a community in which citizens see the law as embodying shared norms whose specific demands they disagree about. State officials are morally permitted to see themselves as acting on behalf of a subset of the citizenry, I argue, only in circumstances of democratic crisis : circumstances in which a moral community can no longer be plausibly said to exist
Keywords Punishment  Standing  Social justice  Democracy  Liberalism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,365
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
R. A. Duff (2006). Answering for Crime. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (1):85–111.

View all 13 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Antony Duff (2003). Punishment, Communication and Community. In Derek Matravers & Jonathan E. Pike (eds.), Debates in Contemporary Political Philosophy: An Anthology. Routledge, in Association with the Open University.
Zachary Hoskins (2011). ''Deterrent Punishment and Respect for Persons''. Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 8 (2):369-384.
Jules Holroyd (2010). Punishment and Justice. Social Theory and Practice 36 (1):78-111.
Kevin Magill (1998). The Idea of a Justification for Punishment. Critical Review Of International Social And Political Philosophy 1 (1):86-101.
L. R. (2001). The Disenfranchisement of Felons. Law and Philosophy 20 (6):553-580.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-08-08

Total downloads

14 ( #95,307 of 1,089,100 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #69,982 of 1,089,100 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.