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Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2009

Punishment

Intellectual Property Law

Christopher J. Buccafusco

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Happiness And Punishment (With J. Bronsteen & J. Masur), Christopher J. Buccafusco Jan 2009

Happiness And Punishment (With J. Bronsteen & J. Masur), Christopher J. Buccafusco

Christopher J. Buccafusco

This article continues our project to apply groundbreaking new literature on the behavioral psychology of human happiness to some of the most deeply analyzed questions in law. Here we explain that the new psychological understandings of happiness interact in startling ways with the leading theories of criminal punishment. Punishment theorists, both retributivist and utilitarian, have failed to account for human beings' ability to adapt to changed circumstances, including fines and (surprisingly) imprisonment. At the same time, these theorists have largely ignored the severe hedonic losses brought about by the post-prison social and economic deprivations (unemployment, divorce, and disease) caused by …