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Parution : 09/2021
Editeur : Cambridge University Press
ISBN : 978-1-1087-2348-0
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Rejecting Retributivism

Free Will, Punishment, and Criminal Justice

Gregg D. Caruso

Présentation de l'éditeur

Within the criminal justice system, one of the most prominent justifications for legal punishment is retributivism. The retributive justification of legal punishment maintains that wrongdoers are morally responsible for their actions and deserve to be punished in proportion to their wrongdoing. This book argues against retributivism and develops a viable alternative that is both ethically defensible and practical. Introducing six distinct reasons for rejecting retributivism, Gregg D. Caruso contends that it is unclear that agents possess the kind of free will and moral responsibility needed to justify this view of punishment. While a number of alternatives to retributivism exist - including consequentialist deterrence, educational, and communicative theories - they have ethical problems of their own. Moving beyond existing theories, Caruso presents a new non-retributive approach called the public health-quarantine model. In stark contrast to retributivism, the public health-quarantine model provides a more human, holistic, and effective approach to dealing with criminal behavior.

Gregg D. Caruso, State University of New York Corning Humanities and Social Sciences



1. Free will, legal punishment, and retributivism
2. Free will skepticism: hard incompatibilism and hard luck
3. The epistemic argument against retributivism
4. Additional reasons for rejecting retributivism
5. Consequentialist, educational, and mixed theories of punishment
6. Public health-quarantine model I: a non-retributive approach to criminal behavior
7. Public health-quarantine model II: the social determinants of health & criminal behavior
8. Public health-quarantine model iii: human dignity, victims' rights, rehabilitation, and preemptive incapacitation
9. Public health-quarantine model IV: funishment, deterrence, evidentiary standards, and indefinite detention

Law and the Cognitive Sciences , 388 pages.  £ 21.99 


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