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September 25, 2011

"The Place of Repentance in Retributive Sentencing"

The title of this post is the title of this new paper by Itay Lipschits and Rinat Kitai available via SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This manuscript sets forth the normative reasons for taking repentance into account in the frame of criminal retributive sentencing. It claims that change that takes place in people should be recognized as a relevant measure for our attitude toward them. The web of social relations among offender, victim, and society needs to permeate the criminal justice system and the considerations of punishment that it includes. Moreover, repentance may change not only one's future but also illuminate her past. If a person has a right to be punished as a consequence from her being a rational moral agent she may also repent her offense as an autonomous person.

September 25, 2011 at 11:26 AM | Permalink


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No one doubts that repentance is properly considered in sentencing (hence the acceptance of responsibility provision). The question is in determining if repentance is sincere, and is one hell of a big "if."

Posted by: Bill Otis | Sep 25, 2011 5:52:52 PM

Another "if" is whether repentance should effect parole decision (the place of moral-normative decision in quasi-scientific body)

Posted by: Netanel Dagan | Aug 13, 2012 8:32:04 AM

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