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Law and Contemporary Problems

2009

Criminal sentences

Articles 1 - 4 of 4

Full-Text Articles in Law

Using Criminal Punishment To Serve Both Victim And Social Needs, Erin Ann O'Hara, Maria Mayo Robbins Apr 2009

Using Criminal Punishment To Serve Both Victim And Social Needs, Erin Ann O'Hara, Maria Mayo Robbins

Law and Contemporary Problems

In recent decades, the criminal-justice pendulum has swung to the opposite extreme. Criminal law is often described as covering disputes between the offender and the state. Victims are not direct parties to criminal proceedings, they have no formal right to either initiate or terminate a criminal action, and they have no control over the punishment meted out to offenders. In this state-centric system, victim needs have been left unsatisfied, giving rise to a politically powerful victims' rights movement that has had success in giving victims rights of access to prosecutors and rights to be heard in the courtroom. Here, O ...


Comment On Using Criminal Punishment To Serve Both Victim And Social Needs, John O. Haley Apr 2009

Comment On Using Criminal Punishment To Serve Both Victim And Social Needs, John O. Haley

Law and Contemporary Problems

Haley comments on the argument underlying the article by Erin Ann O'Hara and Maria Mayo Robbins, which emphasizes on victim-offender mediation (VOM). By expanding the frame of reference, restorative justice can be defined as a paradigm whose scope encompasses more than VOM and whose emphasis includes the needs of society and offenders as well as victims. Restorative justice involves a wide variety of processes and programs that are more apt to restore both those who commit and those who suffer wrongs. It includes children at risk programs, drug courts, violence-treatment programs, as well as VOM programs. It also includes ...


A Reflection And Response To Using Criminal Punishment To Serve Both Victim And Social Needs, Kenneth R. Downes Apr 2009

A Reflection And Response To Using Criminal Punishment To Serve Both Victim And Social Needs, Kenneth R. Downes

Law and Contemporary Problems

Downes comments on Erin Ann O'Hara and Maria Mayo Robbins' article that accurately describes the nuanced and complex nature of apology and forgiveness. These are not actions that can be programmed--they happen at their own pace and in paths that are winding and unchartable. One of the reasons that victim-offender mediation is unpopular with some is that it can be emotionally messy and slow. Thus, one of the most helpful insights in his work has been that forgiveness is developmental, meaning that it often happens in normal and predictable stages. Forgiveness can be divided into manageable pieces. Indeed, their ...


Saving Face: The Benefits Of Not Saying I’M Sorry, Brent T. White Apr 2009

Saving Face: The Benefits Of Not Saying I’M Sorry, Brent T. White

Law and Contemporary Problems

White discusses the socio-psychological research that suggests humans invest significant emotional stake in "face"--or their "claimed identity as a competent, intelligent, or moral persons"--and apologize only when they can do so without significant "face threat." Criminal offenders, many of whom are likely to be low on self-determination, may resist apology to victims out of psychological fragility and the psychological need to preserve face rather than lack of remorse. Thus, the criminal-justice system should be cautious about punishing offenders more harshly because they fail to show external remorse--or even when they are openly defiant. This caution should be exercised ...