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Retribution for Crime

Retributive punishment refers to punishment for a crime that is carried out for retributive reasons and is justified if there really are good retributive reasons for punishing crime. To get a clear sense of this notion, we need to explain what is meant by crime, punishment, and retribution. Crime has reference to socially disfavored actions, especially those that violate rights. Punishment, whether it is spontaneous or part of a system of law, refers to the imposition of a net loss on some agent in response to that agent's performance of some disfavored action. Punishment is to be distinguished from the extraction of compensation. If our agent has imposed a loss on some other party and has in consequence been required to pay compensation to that ...

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