Statutes of Limitations and Personal Identity

In Tania Lombrozo, Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Volume Two. New York, NY, USA: pp. 243-269 (2018)

Authors
Christian Mott
Harvard University
Abstract
Legal theorists have proposed several theories to justify statutes of limitations in the criminal law, but none of these normative theories is generally accepted. This chapter investigates the related descriptive question as to whether ordinary people have the intuition that legal punishment becomes less appropriate as time passes from the date of the offense and, if they do, what factors play a role in these intuitions. Five studies demonstrate that there is an intuitive statute of limitations on both legal punishment and moral criticism, and that these intuitions arise, in part, from judgments about changes in psychological connectedness over time.
Keywords Legal Theory  Criminal Law  Personal Identity  Punishment
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