The Jurisprudence of Cruelty in Criminal Law

Paulo Barrozo

Boston College - Law School

August 25, 2011

Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 239

This article identifies and explains four conceptions of cruelty in criminal law and reconstructs the models of practical reason they inhabit. It advances conceptual, historical, and normative arguments. Conceptually, it articulates distinct notions of cruelty according to the types of agency, victimhood, values, and causality they employ. Historically, it argues that these conceptions belong with three models of practical reason which the article reconstructs in their evolution. Normatively, it argues that the rejection of cruelty is one of the fundamental achievements of practical reason in criminal law. More generally, the article indicates how the operation of reflectivity in the context of ideas about cruelty serves as a model of legal reasoning to be emulated.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 43

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Date posted: August 26, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Barrozo, Paulo, The Jurisprudence of Cruelty in Criminal Law (August 25, 2011). Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 239. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1916910 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1916910

Contact Information

Paulo Barrozo (Contact Author)
Boston College - Law School ( email )
885 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02459-1163
United States
(617)552-4388 (Phone)
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