Article

Criminal Retaliation

Scott Jacques

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online June 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0081
Criminal Retaliation

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Retaliation is about getting even. Rather than relying on the state for help, some victims take the law into their own hands. To some, retaliation is morally justified. To others, however, retaliation is wrong and its curtailment is a primary justification for the formation of governments and their duty to legislate, investigate, and punish deviance. Indeed, many acts of retaliation are defined and treated as criminal. For example, some homicides, rip-offs, burglaries, and property damage are vigilante actions, meaning criminal retaliation. Yet an irony of vigilantism is that—in the long run—it might actually reduce crime. Moreover, retaliation seems to occur most where governments inadequately control crime in the communities they are supposed to serve and protect. The above conceptualizations and theories are among the reasons that retaliation, including vigilantism, is a fascinating topic of study.

Article.  6653 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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