(Neuro)predictions, Dangerousness, and Retributivism

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Through the criminal justice system so-called dangerous offenders are, besides the offence that they are being convicted of and sentenced to, also punished for acts that they have not done but that they are believe to be likely to commit in the future. The aim of this paper is to critically discuss whether some adherents of retributivism give a plausible rationale for punishing offenders more harshly if they, all else being equal, by means of predictions are believed to be more dangerous than other offenders. While consequentialism has no problem, at least in principle, with this use of predictions most retributivists have been opponents of punishing offenders on the basis of predictions. How can an offender deserve to be punished for something that he has not done? But some retributivists like Anthony Duff and Stephen Morse have argued in favor of punishing offenders who are considered to be dangerous in the future more harshly than non-dangerous offenders. After having reconstructed their arguments in detail, it will be argued that both Duff's and Morse's attempts to give a retributivistic justification have several shortcomings.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ethics
Volume18
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)137-151
ISSN1382-4554
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2014

Keywords

  • dangerousness
  • ethics
  • neuroethics
  • predictions
  • retributivism

Cite this

@article{bced0b48ae0d48faaa38bb55814db503,
title = "(Neuro)predictions, Dangerousness, and Retributivism",
abstract = "Through the criminal justice system so-called dangerous offenders are, besides the offence that they are being convicted of and sentenced to, also punished for acts that they have not done but that they are believe to be likely to commit in the future. The aim of this paper is to critically discuss whether some adherents of retributivism give a plausible rationale for punishing offenders more harshly if they, all else being equal, by means of predictions are believed to be more dangerous than other offenders. While consequentialism has no problem, at least in principle, with this use of predictions most retributivists have been opponents of punishing offenders on the basis of predictions. How can an offender deserve to be punished for something that he has not done? But some retributivists like Anthony Duff and Stephen Morse have argued in favor of punishing offenders who are considered to be dangerous in the future more harshly than non-dangerous offenders. After having reconstructed their arguments in detail, it will be argued that both Duff's and Morse's attempts to give a retributivistic justification have several shortcomings.",
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language = "English",
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(Neuro)predictions, Dangerousness, and Retributivism. / Petersen, Thomas Søbirk.

In: Journal of Ethics, Vol. 18, No. 2, 05.05.2014, p. 137-151.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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