Retributive Sentencing, Multiple Offenders, and Bulk Discounts

Richard L. Lippke

in Retributivism

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199752232
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895342 | DOI:
Retributive Sentencing, Multiple Offenders, and Bulk Discounts

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This chapter considers the problem posed by individuals who have been convicted of multiple criminal offenses but whose total punishment, if their sentences are served consecutively, seems excessive. One solution to the problem of the disproportionality of consecutive sentences is to grant the offenders “bulk discounts.” The questions addressed in this chapter are whether and how those who favor a retributive approach to sentencing can defend such discounts in sentencing. In particular, if we set aside appeals to parsimony or mercy, can bulk discounts be defended on grounds of proportionality? The chapter argues that they can, although different types of multiple offenders should not be eligible for the same kinds of bulk discounts. For instance, it urges smaller bulk discounts for serial offenders than those whose various crimes are organized around a central crime or crimes, especially in cases in which many of the supporting crimes involve violations of mala prohibita.

Keywords: retributivism; punishment; justice; multiple offenders; bulk discounts; proportionality; sentencing; mala prohibita

Chapter.  10387 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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