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Innocence lost: a problem for punishment as duty

Tomlin, P. (2017) Innocence lost: a problem for punishment as duty. Law and Philosophy, 36 (3). pp. 225-254. ISSN 0167-5249

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s10982-017-9288-2


Constrained instrumentalist theories of punishment - those that seek to justify punishment by its good effects, but limit its scope - are an attractive alternative to pure retributivism or utilitarianism. One way in which we may be able to limit the scope of instrumental punishment is by justifying punishment through the concept of duty. This strategy is most clearly pursued in Victor Tadros' influential 'Duty View' of punishment. In this paper, I show that the Duty View as it stands cannot find any moral distinction between the permissible punishment of the guilty and some of the ways in which we may permissibly punish the innocent, therefore undermining one the key pillars of its intuitive appeal. I canvass several ways to respond to this problem, arguing that appealing to the distinction between rights-forfeiture and rights-infringement (or claimsforfeiture and -infringement) is the best solution.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:67453


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