Legal Punishment

In Christopher Roederer & Darrel Moellendorf (eds.), Jurisprudence. Juta. 555-87 (2004)
Abstract
We seek to outline philosophical answers to the questions of why punish, whom to punish and how much to punish, with illustrations from the South African legal system. We begin by examining the differences between forward- and backward-looking moral theories of legal punishment, their strengths and also their weaknesses. Then, we ascertain to which theory, if any, contemporary South Africa largely conforms. Finally, we discuss several matters of controversy in South Africa in the context of forward- and backward-looking theories, including the death penalty, mandatory minimum sentences and victim impact statements.
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