Right to be Punished?

European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 16 (1):53-74 (2020)
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It appears at least intuitively appropriate to claim that we owe it to victims to punish those who have wronged them. It also seems plausible to state that we owe it to society to punish those who have violated its norms. However, do we also owe punishment to perpetrators themselves? In other words, do those who commit crimes have a moral right to be punished? This work examines the sustainability of the right to be punished from the standpoint of the two main theories of rights—the will and the interest conceptions. The right to be punished is shown to be largely indefensible on both accounts: on the will theory, the right to be punished conflicts with autonomy, and it can neither be claimed nor waived by a perpetrator; on the interest theory, a perpetrator’s interest in punishment, inasmuch as it exists, is not sufficient to ground a duty on the part of the state.

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Author Profiles

Stearns Broadhead
University Vita-Salute San Raffaele
Adriana Placani
Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Citations of this work

The societal response to psychopathy in the community.Marko Jurjako, Luca Malatesti & Inti Angelo Brazil - 2022 - International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 66 (15):1523–1549.

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References found in this work

Practical reason and norms.Joseph Raz - 1975 - London: Hutchinson.
The morality of freedom.J. Raz - 1988 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (1):108-109.
Practical Reason and Norms.Joseph Raz - 1975 - Law and Philosophy 12 (3):329-343.
Rights, restitution, and risk: essays, in moral theory.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1986 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Edited by William Parent.

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