Intuitions of Justice & the Utility of Desert

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Book Chapter

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This chapter presents some final thoughts. The empirical studies reported in this book contradict the common wisdom that people did not, and would never agree on what punishment is deserved in a specific case. They show that there are many points of agreement across all demographics. This agreement does not touch all offenses and all factors but only what one might call the “core” of wrongdoing, which is limited primarily to offenses of violence and nonconsensual takings. It is argued that people's shared intuitions of justice are something to which law and policymakers and social reformers would be wise to give special attention.


criminal law, criminal liability, judgment, punishment

Publication Title

Intuitions of Justice and the Utility of Desert