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1.5: Retribution

  • Page ID
    16103
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    Retribution means giving offenders the punishment they deserve. Most adherents to this idea believe that the punishment should fit the offense. This idea is known as the doctrine of proportionality. Such a doctrine was advocated by early Italian criminologist Cesare Beccaria who viewed the harsh punishments of his day as being disproportionate to many of the crimes committed. The term just desert is often used to describe a deserved punishment that is proportionate to the crime committed. 

     

    In reality, the doctrine of proportionality is difficult to achieve. There is no way that the various legislatures can go about objectively measuring criminal culpability. The process is one of legislative consensus and is imprecise at best. 


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