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Of One-eyed and Toothless Miscreants – Making the Punishment Fit the Crime? - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Of One-eyed and Toothless Miscreants: Making the Punishment Fit the Crime?

Michael Tonry


Interest in retributive theory, and emphasis on proportionality between crime and punishment as a requirement of justice, revived in English-speaking countries in the 1970s. After less than a half century, however, retributivism’s influence is waning. It is beset by challenges. Some, such as difficulties in scaling crime seriousness and punishment severity, and linking them, are primarily analytical and of interest mostly to theorists. Others, such as trade-offs between proportionality and crime prevention, relate to real-world applications. Both sets of challenges can be explored in their own ... More

Keywords: proportionality, punishment, punishment philosophy, criminal law theory, offense seriousness, punishment severity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190070595
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190070595.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael Tonry, editor
McKnight Presidential Professor of Criminal Law and Policy, University of Minnesota

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