American Journal of Jurisprudence 27 (1):109-113 (1982)

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We argue in this essay that any society that organizes itself to punish criminals should in justice consider itself strictly liable to punish only those who are guilty in fact of the crimes for which they are punished. We argue that justice, not utility, is the basis of the obligation society has not to punish the innocent and that any society that is just would bind itself by statute to compensate the innocents it punishes by mistake. We hope to have made it evident that when the justice of criminal punishment is the issue justice and strict liability are not incompatible; rather, we hope to have shown that one does not understand the nature of justice unless one recognizes that society is strictly liable and therefore owes compensation when, through no fault of its own, it punishes the innocent
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DOI 10.1093/ajj/27.1.109
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