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May 31, 2018

"Retributivist Theories' Conjoined Twins Problems"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new paper on SSRN authored by Brittany Deitch.  Here is its abstract:

This Article expands a previously published article, which introduced a novel problem to the centuries-old debate on the retributivist justification of punishment.  The first article applied the problem of conjoined twins, where one commits a crime and the other is innocent, to pure retributivism.  The conjoined twins problem showed that pure retributivism, which holds absolute duties to punish all who are guilty and none who are innocent, fails as a complete theory of punishment.  This Article broadens the application of the conjoined twins problem by applying the problem to other versions of retributivism, including deontological, consequentialist, threshold, negative/weak, victim-conscious, and mixed retributivist theories.  Exploring each version in turn, this Article uses the conjoined twins problem to show that no version of retributivism can serve as a complete theory of punishment.

May 31, 2018 at 08:40 AM | Permalink


I would add, retribution comes from the Bible, and is unlawful as a purpose of the criminal law in our secular nation.

Posted by: David Behar | Jun 2, 2018 9:35:13 AM

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