This review essay of Victor Tadros’s new book, ‘‘The Ends of Harm: The Moral Foundations of Criminal Law,’’ responds to Tadros’s energetic and sophisticated attacks on retributivist justifications for criminal punishment. I argue, in a nutshell, that those attacks fail. In defending retributivism, however, I also sketch original views on two questions that retributivism must address but that many or most retributivists have skated past. First, what do wrongdoers deserve – to suffer? to be punished? something else? Second, what does it mean for them to deserve it? That is, what is the normative force or significance of valid desert claims, either with respect to retributivist desert in particular or with respect to all forms of desert? Because the answers that this essay offers are preliminary, the essay also serves as a partial blueprint for further work by criminal law theorists with retributivist sympathies.
Berman, Mitchell N., "Rehabilitating Retributivism" (2012). Faculty Scholarship. 1497.
Criminal Law Commons, Criminal Procedure Commons, Criminology and Criminal Justice Commons, Ethics and Political Philosophy Commons, Jurisprudence Commons, Law and Philosophy Commons, Law and Psychology Commons, Legal Theory Commons, Theory and Philosophy Commons