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Criminal Law

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Punishment theory

2003

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The A.L.I.'S Proposed Distributive Principle Of 'Limiting Retributivism': Does It Mean In Practice Anything Other Than Pure Desert?, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2003

The A.L.I.'S Proposed Distributive Principle Of 'Limiting Retributivism': Does It Mean In Practice Anything Other Than Pure Desert?, Paul H. Robinson

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Robinson supports the proposed "purposes" text of the New American Law Institute Report on Sentencing Reform but argues that in practice it will not mean what traditional utilitarians, like those supporting "limiting retributivism," are expecting. First, the proposed text allows reliance upon non-desert distributive principles only to the extent that they serve their stated goals. As the ALI Report concedes, there are limits to the effectiveness one can expect from rehabilitation and, as is now becoming apparent from social science research, our realistic expectations for the effectiveness of deterrence are similarly fading. It is true that incapacitation undoubtedly works to …