Chapter

Horrific Crime<sup>*</sup>

John Stanton-Ife

in The Boundaries of the Criminal Law

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199600557
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729171 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600557.003.0006

Series: Criminalization

Horrific Crime*

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This chapter focuses on a particular type of crime referred to as ‘horrific crimes’. It argues that neither the harm principle, nor accounts of criminalization grounded on the Kantian maxim that proscribes treating others as mere means, can provide an account of the reasons we have to criminalize these crimes. Horrific crimes are not to be distinguished from regular crimes by appealing to the idea that they involve the setting back of particularly important interests; nor are they to be accounted for by appealing to the idea that they violate particularly important rights. Instead of violating the rights of persons, horrific crimes violate persons themselves, in that they involve the crossing of boundaries which play an important role in defining their victims' selfhood.

Keywords: crime; criminal behaviour; criminalization; horrific crimes; selfhood

Chapter.  12830 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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