Criminal Law and Philosophy 9 (1):103-112 (2015)

Neil Levy
Oxford University
In “The Immorality of Punishment”, Michael Zimmerman attempts to show that punishment is morally unjustified and therefore wrong. In this response, I focus on two main questions. First, I examine whether Zimmerman’s empirical claims—concerning our inability to identify wrongdoers who satisfy conditions on blameworthiness and who might be reformed through punishment, and the comparative efficacy of punitive and non-punitive responses to crime—stand up to scrutiny. Second, I argue that his crucial argument from luck depends on claims about counterfactuals that ought to be rejected. I conclude that though his arguments are powerful, they fall short of his ambitious aim of demonstrating that punishment is always seriously wrong
Keywords Punishment  Blame  Crime  Ignorance  Luck
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DOI 10.1007/s11572-013-9217-x
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Epistemic Luck.Duncan Pritchard - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
Free Will and Luck.Alfred R. Mele - 2006 - Oxford University Press.

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