Criminal Law Multitasking
41 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2014 Last revised: 28 Jan 2016
Date Written: August 14, 2014
Criminal law pursues multiple goals: retribution, deterrence, expressive justice, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconciliation. Scholars tend to analyze these goals and their implementation in separation from each other, without accounting for their interplay and coordination. A theory of criminal law multitasking is overdue.
This Article sets up a conceptual framework for such a theory. We develop a taxonomy that captures the interplay between various procedures and substantive goals promoted by criminal law. Based on this taxonomy, we discuss five mechanisms of criminal law. We propose that policymakers and law enforcers select one or more of these mechanisms to implement the chosen mix of retribution, deterrence, expressive justice, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconciliation. We provide reasons guiding this selection, among them constructive community involvement, offenders' responsiveness, and integration of victims' rights. We illustrate the operation of our multitasking approach in real-world cases and illustrate its ability to facilitate the implementation of the deferred prosecution and adjudication mechanisms promulgated by the current Draft of the Model Penal Code.
Keywords: Restorative justice, criminal law, criminal procedure, problem-solving courts, taxonomy, Therapeutic Jurisprudence
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