How Psychology is Changing the Punishment Theory Debate
13 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2007
Date Written: January 2007
This brief essay reviews the contributions that social psychology is making the debate among criminal law theorists on the proper principle for the distribution of criminal liability and punishment. Included is a discussion of suggestions that deterrence may be ineffective as a distributive principle, that incapacitation of dangerous persons may be effective but might be more effective if pursued through a detention system distinct from the criminal justice system, and that desert as a distributive principle, ironically, might be the most effective for controlling crime.
Keywords: psychology, criminal liability, punishment, deterrence, distributive principle, incapacitation of dangerous persons, desert, crime control
JEL Classification: K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation