Chapter Three. The Case Against Retribution

18 Pages Posted: 9 May 2016 Last revised: 20 May 2016

Michael Louis Corrado

University of North Carolina School of Law

Date Written: May 9, 2016


There are strong intuitions on both sides of the responsibility/determinism debate, and each side would like to claim that the other side has the burden of proof. To some extent the debate is an academic exercise: no one really plans to change the way he lives his life depending on the outcome, and everyone is free to place the burden of proof where he will. When it comes to retribution and punishment, however, the stakes are considerably higher. Those who would argue that the community is entitled to externalize the cost of crime control onto those who are said to deserve it must bear the burden of proof, and must meet a rather high standard of proof to boot.

Keywords: Punishment, retribution, quarantine, moral responsibility

Suggested Citation

Corrado, Michael Louis, Chapter Three. The Case Against Retribution (May 9, 2016). UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2777564. Available at SSRN: or

Michael Louis Corrado (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina School of Law ( email )

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States

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