Malum Prohibitum and Retributivism*

Douglas Husak

in The Philosophy of Criminal Law

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199585038
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723476 | DOI:
 							Malum Prohibitum and Retributivism*

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Familiar attempts to justify the punishment of criminals often presuppose that they have committed a malum in se offense. This chapter critically investigates what might justify punishing persons who commit a malum prohibitum offense — a crime that is not wrongful prior to and independent of law. It considers and rejects various attempts to justify the punishment of persons who commit different kinds of mala prohibita offenses. If no justification succeeds in given cases, the enforcement of a great many penal laws may result in unjustified punishments.

Keywords: mala in se; mala prohibita; hybrid offenses; consent; fair play; blame; desert; punishment

Chapter.  13537 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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