Respect for Persons and the Harsh Punishment of Criminals

In this paper, I explore whether harsh treatment fails to respect the criminal as a person. I focus on the most extreme treatment because if such treatment can satisfy the duty to respect a criminal as a person then less extreme cases (e.g., incarceration, fines, shaming practices) can also do so. I begin by filling out the notion of a duty to respect a person. Here I set out an account of autonomy and then show that it grounds the duty to respect a person. Next, I use this account of the duty to lay out a three-part test for whether harsh treatment respects a criminal as a person. I then apply this test and conclude that it does where the treatment does not infringe on the criminal’s rights, exploit him, or express contempt for him.
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DOI 10.5840/ijap200418113
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