Respect for Persons and the Harsh Punishment of Criminals

Abstract
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
Keywords Applied Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0739-098X
DOI 10.5840/ijap200418113
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