The Retribution Heuristic

Koppel, S., & Fondacaro, M.R. (in press). The retribution heuristic. In J. Jacobs, & J. Jackson (eds.). The Routledge Handbook of criminal justice ethics. London, UK: Routledge, Forthcoming

15 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2015  

Stephen Koppel, JD

CUNY, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Students

Mark R. Fondacaro, J.D., Ph.D.

John Jay College - CUNY

Date Written: October 8, 2015

Abstract

Cognitive heuristics are mental shortcuts that enable quick and efficient decision-making. Several converging lines of evidence suggest the existence of a retribution heuristic, which guides reactions to wrongdoing toward retributive punishment. Although cognitive heuristics can generally be relied upon to produce sound decisions, they also are associated with cognitive biases and errors of judgment. We show that the retribution heuristic produces systematic errors of judgment, and argue that the resulting “Fundamental Retribution Errors” serve to legitimize overly harsh, unjust, and ineffective criminal sanctions.

Keywords: Heuristic, Retribution, Consequentialism, Criminal Justice, Neuroscience

JEL Classification: K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Koppel, JD, Stephen and Fondacaro, J.D., Ph.D., Mark R., The Retribution Heuristic (October 8, 2015). Koppel, S., & Fondacaro, M.R. (in press). The retribution heuristic. In J. Jacobs, & J. Jackson (eds.). The Routledge Handbook of criminal justice ethics. London, UK: Routledge, Forthcoming . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2671204

Stephen Koppel (Contact Author)

CUNY, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Students ( email )

New York, NY
United States

Mark Robert Fondacaro

John Jay College - CUNY ( email )

445 W. 59th St.
New York, NY 10019
United States
6465574503 (Phone)

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