Advertisement

Retributarianism: A New Individualization of Punishment

  • Hadar Dancig-Rosenberg
  • Netanel Dagan
Original Paper

Abstract

This article seeks to reveal, conceptualize, and analyze a trend in the development of the retributive theory of punishment since the beginning of the 21st century. We term this trend “retributarianism.” It is reflected in the emergence of retributive approaches that through expanding the concepts of censure and culpability extend the relevant time-frame for assessing the deserved punishment beyond the sentencing moment. These retributarian approaches are characterized by the individualization of retributivism. On one hand, retributarianism shares with classic retributivism the rhetoric of justice, a focus on the moral evaluation of the severity of the offense, and the primary importance ascribed to maintaining proportionality. On the other hand, it shares with utilitarianism the possibility of taking into account, in addition to the severity of the offense, the offender’s personal circumstances, with a future-oriented perspective that also considers developments subsequent to the commission of the offense. This article analyzes the emergence of retributarianism, suggests possible explanations for its development, and assesses its possible implications for penal theory and policy.

Keywords

Philosophy of punishment Punishment theories Retributarianism Retribution Utilitarianism Just desert Penal theory 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Samuel Baron, Ariel Bendor, Antony Duff, Shachar Eldar, Arnold Enker, Malcolm Feeley, Doug Husak, Ruth Kannai, Chris Kutz, John Pratt, Julian Roberts, Gil Rothschild-Elyassi, Leslie Sebba, Yoram Shachar, Jonathan Simon and the anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. The authors have contributed equally to this article. The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors.

References

  1. Andrew Ashworth (2017). “Prisons, Proportionality and Recent Penal History,” Mod. L. Rev. 80: 473–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrew Ashworth & Jeremy Horder (2013). Principles of Criminal Law (Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  3. Richard A. Bierschbach (2012). “Proportionality and Parole,” U. Penn. L. Rev. 160: 1745–1788.Google Scholar
  4. Antje du Bois-Pedain (2017). “Punishment as an Inclusionary Practice: Sentencing in a Liberal Constitutional State,” in Antje du Bois-Pedain, Magnus Ulvang & Petter Asp (eds.), Criminal Law and the Authority of the State (Hart Publishing): 199–227.Google Scholar
  5. Anthony Bottoms (2017). “Exploring an Institutionalist and Post-Desert Theoretical Approach to Multiple-Offense Sentencing,” in Jesper Ryberg, Julian V. Roberts & Jan W. de Keijser (eds.), Sentencing Multiple Crimes (Oxford University Press): 31–56.Google Scholar
  6. John Braithwaite (1999). “Restorative Justice: Assessing Optimistic and Pessimistic Accounts,” Crime & Just. 25: 1–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. John Braithwaite & Philip Pettit (1990). Not Just Deserts: A Republican Theory of Criminal Justice (Clarendon Press).Google Scholar
  8. Brown v. Plata, 563 U.S. 493 (2011).Google Scholar
  9. Francis T. Cullen & Karen E. Gilbert (2013). Reaffirming Rehabilitation (Routledge).Google Scholar
  10. Theodore Caplow & Jonathan Simon (1999). “Understanding Prison Policy and Population Trends,” in Michael Tonry & Joan Petersilia (eds.), Crime & Just. 26: 63–120.Google Scholar
  11. Vincent Chiao (2017). “Mass Incarceration and the Theory of Punishment,” Crim. L. & Phil. 11: 431–452.Google Scholar
  12. Alasdair Cochrane (2017). “Prison on Appeal: The Idea of Communicative Incarceration,” Crim. L. & Phil. 11: 295–312.Google Scholar
  13. John G. Cottingham (1979). “Varieties of Retribution,” Philo. Q. 29: 238–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Netanel Dagan & Dana Segev (2015). “Retributive Whisper: Communicative Elements in Parole,” L. & Soc. Inq. 40: 611–630.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kathleen Daly (1999). “Does Punishment Have a Place in Restorative Justice?,” unpublished paper presented to the Australia and New Zealand Society of Criminology Annual Conference.Google Scholar
  16. David Dolinko (1991). “Some Thoughts about Retributivism,” Ethics 101: 537–559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. R.A. Duff (2011). “Retrieving Retributivism,” in Mark D. White (ed.), Retributivism: Essays on Theory and Policy (Oxford University Press): 3–24.Google Scholar
  18. R.A. Duff (2004). “Punishment, Retribution and Communication,” in Gerben Bruinsma, Henk Elffers & Jan de Keijser (eds.), Punishment, Places and Perpetrators (Willan): 78–96.Google Scholar
  19. R.A. Duff (2001). Punishment, Communication, and Community (Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  20. Malcolm M. Feeley & Jonathan Simon (1992). “The New Penology: Notes on the Emerging Strategy of Corrections and its Implications,” Criminology 30: 449–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Chad Flanders (2010). “Retribution and Reform,” Md. L. Rev. 70: 87–140.Google Scholar
  22. Richard S. Frase (2013). Just Sentencing: Principles and Procedures for a Workable System (Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  23. Richard S. Frase (2004). “Limiting Retributivism: The Consensus Model of Criminal Punishment,” in Michael Tonry (ed.), The Future of Imprisonment in the 21st Century (Oxford University Press): 90–104.Google Scholar
  24. Martin Gardner (1976). “The Renaissance of Retribution: An Examination of Doing Justice,” Wis. L. Rev. (1976): 781–815.Google Scholar
  25. David Garland (2001a). The Culture of Control (Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  26. David Garland (2001b). Mass Imprisonment: Social Causes and Consequences (SAGE).Google Scholar
  27. Douglas Husak. “The Metric of Punishment Severity: A Puzzle about the Principle of Proportionality,” unpublished paper. Available at http://www.law.uci.edu/academics/centers/clp/images-pdfs/husak-metric-punishment-severity.pdf.
  28. Douglas Husak (2011). “Retributivism, Proportionality, and the Challenge of the Drug Court Movement,” in Michael Tonry (ed.), Retributivism Has a Past: Has It a Future? (Oxford University Press): 214–233.Google Scholar
  29. Joshua Kleinfeld (2016). “Two Cultures of Punishment,” Stan. L. Rev. 68 (2016): 933–1038.Google Scholar
  30. Nicola Lacey & Hanna Pickard (2015). “The Chimera of Proportionality: Institutionalising Limits on Punishment in Contemporary Social and Political Systems,” Mod. L. Rev. 78: 216–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Austin Lovegrove (2010). “Proportionality Theory, Personal Mitigation, and the People’s Sense of Justice,” Cambridge LJ 69 (2010): 321–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Robert Martinson (1974). “What Works? Questions and Answers about Prison Reform,” Public Interest 35: 22–54.Google Scholar
  33. Hannah Maslen (2015). Remorse, Penal Theory and Sentencing (Hart Publishing).Google Scholar
  34. Matt Matravers (2011). “Is Twenty-First Century Punishment Post-Desert?,” in Michel Tonry (ed.), Retributivism has a past: Has it a future? (Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  35. Michael S. Moore (1997). Placing Blame: A Theory of Criminal Law (Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  36. Norval Morris (1974). The Future of Imprisonment (University of Chicago Press).Google Scholar
  37. Jeffrie G. Murphy (2012). Punishment and the Moral Emotions (Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  38. Jeffrie G. Murphy (2007). “Remorse, Apology, and Mercy,” Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 4: 423–453.Google Scholar
  39. Jeffrie G. Murphy (2003). Getting Even: Forgiveness and its Limits (Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  40. Michael M. O’Hear (2011a). “‘Beyond Rehabilitation’: A New Theory of Indeterminate Sentencing,” Am. Crim. L. Rev. 48: 1247–1292.Google Scholar
  41. Michael M. O’Hear (2011b). “Drug Treatment Courts as Communicative Punishment,” in Michael Tonry (ed.), Retributivism Has a Past: Has It a Future? (Oxford University Press): 234–255.Google Scholar
  42. John Pratt (2007). Penal Populism (Taylor & Francis).Google Scholar
  43. Kevin R. Reitz (2004). “Questioning the Conventional Wisdom of Parole Release Authority,” in Michael Tonry (ed.), The Future of Imprisonment in the 21st Century (Oxford University Press): 199–235.Google Scholar
  44. Alice Ristroph (2006). “Desert, Democracy, and Sentencing Reform,” J. Crim. L. & Crim’y 96: 1293–1352.Google Scholar
  45. Douglas Robbins (2001). “Resurrection from a Death Sentence: Why Capital Sentences Should Be Commuted upon the Occasion of an Authentic Ethical Transformation,” U. Pa. L. Rev. 149 (2001): 1115–1180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Julian V. Roberts & Netanel Dagan (2018). “The Evolution of Retributive Punishment: From Just Deserts to Responsive Penal Censure,” in Antje du Bois-Pedain & Anthony Bottoms (eds.), Penal Censure: Engagements Within and Beyond Desert Theory (Hart Publishing).Google Scholar
  47. Julian V. Roberts & Hannah Maslen (2015). “After the Crime: Post-Offence Conduct and Penal Censure,” in A.P. Simester, Antje du Bois-Pedain & Ulfrid Neumann (eds.), Liberal Criminal Theory: Essays for Andreas von Hirsch (Hart Publishing): 87–110.Google Scholar
  48. Julian V. Roberts (2010). “First-Offender Sentencing Discounts: Exploring the Justifications,” in Julian V. Roberts & Andreas von Hirsch (eds.), Previous Convictions at Sentencing: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives (Hart Publishing): 17–35.Google Scholar
  49. Jonathan Simon (2014). Mass Incarceration on Trial: A Remarkable Court Decision and the Future of Prisons in America (The New Press).Google Scholar
  50. Michael A. Simons (2004). “Born Again on Death Row: Retribution, Remorse, and Religion,” Cath. Law. 43: 311–337.Google Scholar
  51. Nick Smith (2016). “Dialectical Retributivism: Why Apologetic Offenders Deserve Reductions in Punishment Even Under Retributive Theories,” Philosophia 44: 343–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. John Tasiolas (2007). “Repentance and the Liberal State,” Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 4: 487–521.Google Scholar
  53. Malcolm Thorburn & Allan Manson (2007). “The Sentencing Theory Debate: Convergence in Outcomes, Divergence in Reasoning,” New Crim. L. Rev. 10: 278–310.Google Scholar
  54. Michael H. Tonry (2016). Sentencing fragments: Penal reform in America (Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  55. Michael H. Tonry (1994). “Proportionality, Parsimony, and Interchangeability of Punishments,” in R.A. Duff & David Garland (eds.), A Reader on Punishment (Oxford University Press): 133–160.Google Scholar
  56. Andreas von Hirsch (2017). Deserved Criminal Sentences (Hart Publishing).Google Scholar
  57. Andrew von Hirsch & Andrew Ashworth (2005). Proportionate Sentencing: Exploring the Principles (Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  58. Andrew von Hirsch & Kathleen Hanrahan (1979). The Question of Parole: Retention, Reform, or Abolition? (Ballinger Publishing).Google Scholar
  59. Andrew von Hirsch (1976). Doing Justice: The Choice of Punishments (Northeastern University Press).Google Scholar
  60. Beth Weaver (2009). “Communicative Punishment as a Penal Approach to Supporting Desistance,” Theo. Crim’y 23: 9–29.Google Scholar
  61. James Q. Whitman (2014). “The Case for Penal Modernism: Beyond Utility and Desert,” Critical Analysis of Law 1: 143–181.Google Scholar
  62. James Q. Whitman (2003). “A Plea Against Retributivism,” Buff. Crim. L. Rev. 7: 85–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Ekow N. Yankah (2015). “Republican Responsibility in Criminal Law,” Crim. L. & Phil. 9: 457–475.Google Scholar
  64. Leo Zaibert (2016). Punishment and Retribution (Routledge).Google Scholar
  65. Leo Zaibert (2002). “Punishment, Liberalism, and Communitarianism,” Buff. Crim. L. Rev. 6: 673–690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Howard Zehr (1990). Changing Lenses: A New Focus for Criminal Justice (Herald Press).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UC Berkeley School of LawBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Bar-Ilan University Faculty of LawRamat-GanIsrael
  3. 3.The Supreme Court of IsraelJerusalemIsrael

Personalised recommendations