Inequality, Incentives, Criminality, and Blame

34 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2017  

Christopher Lewis

Stanford University, Department of Philosophy, Students

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

The disadvantaged have incentives to commit crime, and to develop criminogenic dispositions, that limit the extent to which their co-citizens can blame them for breaking the law. This is true regardless of whether the causes of criminality are mainly “structural” or “cultural.” We need not assume that society as a whole is unjust in order to accept this conclusion. And doing so would neither stigmatize nor otherwise disrespect the disadvantaged.

Keywords: Punishment, Blame, Inequality, Responsibility, Crime, Law, Philosophy, Morality, Ethics, Disadvantage, Mitigation, Sentencing, Criminal Justice, Race, Class

Suggested Citation

Lewis, Christopher, Inequality, Incentives, Criminality, and Blame (2016). Legal Theory, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3014435

Christopher Lewis (Contact Author)

Stanford University, Department of Philosophy, Students ( email )

Stanford, CA
United States

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