Criminal Justice Ethics 37 (2):164-181 (2018)

William Bülow O'Nils
Stockholm University
Indeterminate sentencing is a sentencing practice where offenders are sentenced to a range of potential imprisonment terms and where the actual release date is determined later, typically by a parole board. Although indeterminate sentencing is often considered morally problematic from a retributivist perspective, Michael O’Hear has provided an interesting attempt to reconcile indeterminate sentencing with the communicative version of retributivism developed by Antony Duff. O’Hear’s core argument is that delayed release, within the parameters of the indeterminate sentence, can be seen as an appropriate retributivist response to the violations of prison rules. This article highlights several problems in O’Hear’s proposal and argues that the communicative theory is not easily reconciled with his proposed model for indeterminate sentencing. In conclusion, it is argued that proponents of the communicative version of retributivism should resist indeterminate prison sentences.
Keywords Imprisonment  Sentencing
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/0731129X.2018.1500134
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,291
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

The Moral Education Theory of Punishment.Jean Hampton - 1984 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 13 (3):208-238.
Prison on Appeal: The Idea of Communicative Incarceration.Alasdair Cochrane - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (2):295-312.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Prison on Appeal: The Idea of Communicative Incarceration.Alasdair Cochrane - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (2):295-312.
Deserved Punishment.J. L. A. Garcia - 1989 - Law and Philosophy 8 (2):263 - 277.
The Comparative Nature of Punishment.Adam J. Kolber - 2009 - Boston University Law Review 89 (5):1565-1608.
The Justification of Deserved Punishment.Stephen Kershnar - 1995 - Dissertation, The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Punishment, Pharmacological Treatment, and Early Release.Jesper Ryberg - 2012 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (2):231-244.
Desert for Wrongdoing.Gideon Yaffe - 2016 - The Journal of Ethics 20 (1-3):149-171.
State Denunciation of Crime.Christopher Bennett - 2006 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (3):288-304.
The Complexity of the Concepts of Punishment.H. J. McGloskey - 1962 - Philosophy 37 (142):307 - 325.
Time and Retribution.Patrick Tomlin - 2014 - Law and Philosophy 33 (5):655-682.
Is There a Claim to Deserved Punishment?David Alm - 2014 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 52 (3):403-425.


Added to PP index

Total views
33 ( #331,914 of 2,456,035 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #303,388 of 2,456,035 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes