The Intrusion of Mercy

On the basis of a communicative theory of criminal punishment, I show how mercy has a significant but limited role to play in the criminal law—in particular (although not only) in criminal sentencing. Mercy involves an intrusion into the realm of criminal law of values and concerns that are not themselves part of the perspective of criminal law: a merciful sentencer acts beyond the limits of her legal role, on the basis of moral considerations that conflict with the demands of penal justice. Sometimes, however (but in a decent system of law in a decent society, rarely), that is how citizens should act. Finally, I discuss, and criticise, two attempts to find a place for mercy within a communicative conception of punishment, and argue that repentance is not an appropriate ground for leniency or mercy in sentencing
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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 Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,488
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Richard Bourne (2014). Communication, Punishment, and Virtue. Journal of Religious Ethics 42 (1):78-107.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
John Tasioulas (2003). Mercy. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (2):101–132.
Stephen Kershnar (2000). Mercy, Retributivism, and Harsh Punishment. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 14 (2):209-224.
Ned Markosian (2013). Two Puzzles About Mercy. Philosophical Quarterly 63 (251):269-292.
Shawn Floyd (2009). Aquinas and the Obligations of Mercy. Journal of Religious Ethics 37 (3):449-471.
R. A. Duff (2011). Mercy. In John Deigh & David Dolinko (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of the Criminal Law. Oxford University Press.
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.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

21 ( #223,084 of 1,925,795 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #418,410 of 1,925,795 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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