On the Supposed Priority of Justification to Excuse*

Douglas Husak

in The Philosophy of Criminal Law

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199585038
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723476 | DOI:
 							On the Supposed Priority of Justification to Excuse*

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A host of moral and legal philosophers apparently define excuses to preclude the existence of a justification, but do not define justifications to preclude the existence of an excuse. This chapter argues that these definitions should be rejected; they are poorly motivated and beg questions that should remain open. It is conceptually possible for a person to have both an excuse as well as a justification for the same crime. Moreover, there is no good reason to characterize these defences so that a person should always prefer morally to be justified than to be excused.

Keywords: defences; justification; excuse; morality; priority; blame; punishment

Chapter.  14126 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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