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Criminal Law

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Punishment theory

2012

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Life Without Parole Under Modern Theories Of Punishment, Paul H. Robinson Jun 2012

Life Without Parole Under Modern Theories Of Punishment, Paul H. Robinson

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Life without parole seems an attractive and logical punishment under the modern coercive crime-control principles of general deterrence and incapacitation, a point reinforced by its common use under habitual offender statutes like "three strikes." Yet, there is increasing evidence to doubt the efficacy of using such principles to distributive punishment. The prerequisite conditions for effective general deterrence are the exception rather than the rule. Moreover, effective and fair preventive detention is difficult when attempted through the criminal justice system. If we really are committed to preventive detention, it is better for both society and potential detainees that it be done …