Law and Justice Essay | Law Essays

Should the person who is excluded for ever from society be deprived of his property? This question may be considered in different lights. The confiscation of effects, added to banishment, is a greater punishment than banishment alone; there ought then to be some cases, in which, according to the crime, either the whole fortune should be confiscated, or part only, or none at all. The whole should be forfeited, when the law, which ordains banishment, declares, at the same time, that all connections between the society and the criminal are annihilated. In this case, the citizen dies, the man only remains; and with respect to a political body, the death of the should have the same consequences with the death of the It seems to follow, then, that in this case, the effects of the criminal should devolve to his lawful heirs. But it is not on account of this refinement that I disapprove of confiscations. If some have insisted that they were a restraint to vengeance, and the violence of particulars, they have not reflected, that though punishments be productive of good, they are not, on that account, more just; to be just, they must be necessary. Even an useful injustice can never be allowed by a legislator, who means to guard against watchful tyranny; which, under the flattering pretext of momentary advantages, would establish permanent principles of destruction, and, to procure the ease of a few in a high station, would draw tears from thousands of the poor.

Kant's Perspective on Crime, Punishment, and Justice Essay

This essay discusses the relation among emotions, punishment, and justice

Kant's Perspective on Crime, Punishment, and Justice Essay; ..

There are some equally familiar consequentialist responses to thisfamiliar objection. One is to argue that such‘unjust’punishments be justified if theywould really produce the best consequences (see e.g., Smart 1973:69–72; Bagaric and Amarasekara 2000) — to which the criticwill reply that we cannot thus put aside the moral significance ofinjustice. Another is to argue that in the real world it is extremelyunlikely that such punishments would ever be for the best, and evenless likely that the agents involved could be trusted reliably to pickout those rare cases in which they would be: thus we, and especiallyour penal officials, will do best if we think and act as if suchpunishments are intrinsically wrong and unjustifiable (see e.g., Rawls1955; Hare 1981, chs. 3, 9.7) — to which the critic will respondthat this still makes the wrongness of punishing a known innocentcontingent on its effects, and fails to recognise the intrinsic wrongthat such punishment does (see e.g., Duff 1986: 151–64;Primoratz 1999, chs. 3.3, 6.5). Another response is to argue that aricher or subtler account of the ends that the criminal law shouldserve will generate suitable protection against unjust punishments(see Braithwaite and Pettit 1990, especially 71–76, on‘dominion’ as the end of criminal law); but the objectionremains that any purely consequentialist account will make theprotection of the innocent against injustice contingent on itsinstrumental contribution to the system’s aims (on Braithwaiteand Pettit, see von Hirsch and Ashworth 1992; Duff 1996: 20–25;Pettit 1997).

Justice law and punishment essay for students

The central meaning and purpose of punishment, on such accounts, is tocommunicate to offenders the censure or condemnation that they deservefor their crimes. Once we recognise, as we should, that punishment canserve this communicative purpose, we can see how such accounts beginto answer the two questions that retributivists face. First, there isan obviously intelligible justificatory relationship betweenwrongdoing and censure — as a response which is intended toimpose a burden (the burden of condemnation by one’s fellows) onan offender for his offence: whatever puzzles there might be aboutother attempts to explain the idea of penal desert, the idea thatwrongdoers deserve to suffer censure is surely unpuzzling. Second, itis appropriate for the state to ensure that such censure is formallyadministered through the criminal justice system: if crimes are publicwrongs, breaches of the political community’s authoritativecode, then they merit public censure by the community. Furthermore,although internal to censure is the intention, or hope, that theperson censured will accept the censure as justified and will thus bemotivated to avoid crime in future, this kind of account can avoid thecharge (as brought against consequentialist theories) that it seeks tocoerce or manipulate offenders into obeying the law. For censureaddresses, and respects, the person censured as a rational andresponsible agent: it constitutes an appropriate, deserved response tothe wrong that she did, and seeks to bring her to modify her futureconduct only by reminding her of the good moral reasons that she hasfor refraining from crime; it is an appropriate way for citizens totreat and respond to each other. (For different kinds of communicativeaccount, see especially von Hirsch 1993, ch.2; Duff 2001, chs. 1.4.4,3.2; Bennett 2008; Markel 2011, 2012. For critical discussion, seeDavis 1991; Boonin 2008: 171–80; Hanna 2008; Matravers 2011).

This law appears to be humane and just, as it inflicts a cruel punishment only on a seven-fold repetition, which can hardly be presumed.
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The moral law, justice, and capital punishment

A somewhat different attempt to accommodate prudential as well asmoral reasons in an account of punishment begins with theretributivist notion that punishment is justified as a form ofdeserved censure, but then contends that we should communicate censurethrough penal hard treatment because this will give those who areinsufficiently impressed by the moral appeal of censure prudentialreason to refrain from crime; because, that is, the prospect of suchpunishment might deter those who are not susceptible to moralpersuasion. (See Lipkin 1988, Baker 1992. For a sophisticated revisionof this idea, which makes deterrence firmly secondary to censure, seevon Hirsch 1993, ch. 2; Narayan 1993. For critical discussion, seeBottoms 1998; Duff 2001, ch. 3.3. For another subtle version of thiskind of account, see Matravers 2000.) This kind of account differsfrom the accounts just discussed, on which retributivist prohibitionson punishment of the innocent or excessive punishment of the guiltyconstrain the pursuit of consequentialist aims, since in the currentaccount the (retributivist) imposition of deserved censure is part ofthe positive justifying aim of punishment; and it can claim, inresponse to the Hegelian objection to deterrence, that it does notaddress potential offenders merely ‘like dogs’, since thelaw’s initial appeal to the citizen is in the appropriate moralterms: the prudential, coercive reasons constituted by penal hardtreatment as deterrence are relevant only to those who are deaf, or atleast insufficiently attentive, to the law’s moral appeal. Itmight be objected that on this account the law, in speaking to thosewho are not persuaded by its moral appeal, is still abandoning theattempt at moral communication in favour of the language of threats,and thus ceasing to address its citizens as responsible moral agents:to which it might be replied, first, that the law is addressing us,appropriately, as fallible moral agents who know that we need theadditional spur of prudential deterrence to persuade us to act as weshould; and second, that we cannot clearly separate the (merely)deterrent from the morally communicative dimensions of punishment— that the dissuasive efficacy of legitimate punishment stilldepends crucially on the moral meaning that the hard treatment isunderstood to convey.

Justice law and punishment essays - Adyopant Legal

law punishment essay justice and

The facts above mentioned would preclude all apology for this translation, if any apology were necessary, for translating into our language a work, which, from the nature of the subject, must be interesting to every nation; but must be particularly acceptable to the English, from the eloquent and forcible manner in which the author pleads the cause of liberty, benevolence and humanity. It may however be objected, that a treatise of this kind is useless in England, where, from the excellence of our laws and government, no examples of cruelty or oppression are to be found. But it must also be allowed, that much is still wanting to perfect our system of legislation; the confinement of debtors, the filth and horror of our prisons, the cruelty of jailors, and the extortion of the petty officers of justice, to all which may be added the melancholy reflection, that the number of criminals put to death in England is much greater than in any other part of Europe, are considerations which will sufficiently answer every objection. These are my only reasons for endeavouring to diffuse the knowledge of the useful truths contained in this little essay; and I say, with my author, that if I can be instrumental in rescuing a single victim from the hand of tyranny or ignorance, his transports will sufficiently console me for the contempt of all mankind.

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Prison, Punishment, and Recidivism: An Argument …

useless profusion of punishments, which has never made men better, induces me to inquire, whether the punishment of be really just or useful in a well-governed state? What I ask, have men to cut the throats of their fellow-creatures? Certainly not that on which the sovereignty and laws are founded. The laws, as I have said before, are only the sum of the smallest portions of the private liberty of each individual, and represent the general will, which is the aggregate of that of each individual. Did any one ever give to others the right of taking away his life? Is it possible, that in the smallest portions of the liberty of each, sacrificed to the good of the public, can be obtained the greatest of all good, life? If it were so, how shall it be reconciled to the maxim which tells us, that a man has no right to kill himself? Which he certainly must have, if he could give it away to another.