Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=955147
 
 

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The Merciful State


Linda Ross Meyer


Quinnipiac University School of Law

January 30, 2012

FORGIVENESS, MERCY AND CLEMENCY, Austin Sarat & Nasser Hussain, eds., Stanford University Press, 2007

Abstract:     
This article challenges the view, most recently articulated by Dan Markel, that merciful mitigation of punishment by state actors is contrary to principles of retributivism, equality, and democracy. In addition to providing a theoretical response to these arguments, the article points out that our justice system is (and should be) riddled with mercy, and when mercy is given out of equity, relationships of allegiance, peace-making, or compassion, it may ground and confirm responsibility and community - not undermine them. Concluding that a theoretical challenge to mercy fails, the article examines many instances of clemency and pardon to begin a more contextual, case-based look at when mercy is appropriate and when it is not.

Keywords: mercy, grace, pardon, capital punishment, forgiveness, apology, clemency, mitigation, sympathy, compassion, retribution, punishment, Heidegger, Kant, allegiance, grace, equity

JEL Classification: K14

Accepted Paper Series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: January 22, 2007 ; Last revised: October 19, 2012

Suggested Citation

Meyer, Linda Ross, The Merciful State (January 30, 2012). FORGIVENESS, MERCY AND CLEMENCY, Austin Sarat & Nasser Hussain, eds., Stanford University Press, 2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=955147

Contact Information

Linda R. Meyer (Contact Author)
Quinnipiac University School of Law ( email )
275 Mt. Carmel Ave.
Hamden, CT 06518
United States
203-287-3281 (Phone)
203-287-3209 (Fax)
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