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Risk

Criminal Law

All Faculty Scholarship

2012

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Risk And Inchoate Crimes: Retribution Or Prevention?, Larry Alexander, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan Jan 2012

Risk And Inchoate Crimes: Retribution Or Prevention?, Larry Alexander, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

All Faculty Scholarship

In this book chapter we give a definition of inchoate crimes and argue that inchoate crimes, so defined, are not culpable and do not deserve punishment. Our argument against the culpability of inchoate crimes is based on several points: the ability of the actor who intends a future act that might be culpable if performed to change his mind prior to the act’s performance; the conditionality of all future-oriented intentions; uncertainty regarding the culpability-enhancing or culpability-mitigating circumstances that will exist at the future time of performance; and the roles of vacillation and duration in assessing culpability. We argue that punishment …