Retributivism: An Inferior Practice

John Braithwaite and Philip Pettit

in Not Just Deserts

Published in print October 1992 | ISBN: 9780198240563
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680205 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Retributivism: An Inferior Practice

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This chapter shows that retributivism is incapable of dealing with the complexities of modern society, in particular complexities associated with white-collar crime. It argues that the just deserts model is neither desirable nor feasible as a response to such crime, and that its implementation would have the practical effect of increasing rather than decreasing certain unjust inequalities.

Keywords: criminal justice; crime; punishment; retributivism; white-collar crime

Chapter.  7293 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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