Mind 118 (470):449-453 (2009)

Mark Tunick
Florida Atlantic University
Thom Brooks criticizes utilitarian and retributive theories of punishment but argues that utilitarian and retributive goals can be incorporated into a coherent and unified theory of punitive restoration, according to which punishment is a means of reintegrating criminals into society and restoring rights. I point to some difficulties with Brooks’ criticisms of retributive and utilitarian theories, and argue that his theory of punitive restoration is not unified or coherent. I argue further that a theory attempting to capture the complex set of rules and behaviors that constitute the practice of legal punishment cannot persuasively be unified and coherent: legitimate features of the practice advance goals and promote values that in some cases conflict.
Keywords Punishment  Utilitarianism  Retribution
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzp046
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