Chapter

Crimes as Pretexts for Improvement

Hyman Gross

in Crime and Punishment

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199644711
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738944 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199644711.003.0004
Crimes as Pretexts for Improvement

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This chapter looks at those accounts of punishment that take the commission of a crime as warranting a response intended to prevent crimes in the future. The literature on deterrence can fairly be described as a few tightly circumscribed islands of hope in a great sea of doubt, with abundant evidence that no reliable connection can be established between lower rates of crime and more severe regimes of punishment. It is this great uncertainty that at the outset disqualifies deterrence in general as a sufficiently good reason for inflicting the harm that we do in administering criminal punishment.

Keywords: criminal punishment; crime prevention; deterrence; harm

Chapter.  3601 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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