Right to Be Punished?

European Journal of Analytic Philosophy, 16 (1), 53-74, 2020

DOI: 10.31820/ejap.16.1.3.

22 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2020

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

It appears at least intuitively appropriate to claim that we owe it to victims to punish those who have wronged them. It also seems plausible to state that we owe it to society to punish those who have violated its norms. However, do we also owe punishment to perpetrators themselves? In other words, do those who commit crimes have a moral right to be punished? This work examines the sustainability of the right to be punished from the standpoint of the two main theories of rights — the will and interest conceptions. The right to be punished is shown to be largely indefensible on both accounts: on the will theory, the right to be punished conflicts with autonomy, and it can neither be claimed nor waived by a perpetrator; on the interest theory, a perpetrator’s interest in punishment, inasmuch as it exists, is not sufficient to ground a duty on the part of the state.

Keywords: Punishment, Right to Be Punished, Duff, Communicative Theory of Punishment, Rights, Will Theory, Interest Theory

Suggested Citation

Placani, Adriana and Broadhead, Stearns, Right to Be Punished? (2020). European Journal of Analytic Philosophy, 16 (1), 53-74, 2020, DOI: 10.31820/ejap.16.1.3., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3623934

Adriana Placani

University of Graz ( email )

26/II Heinrichstrasse
A-8010 Graz, 8010
Austria

Stearns Broadhead (Contact Author)

University of Graz ( email )

Heinrichstrasse 26
A-8010 Graz, 8010
Austria

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