Retributivism Has a Past
Has It a Future?
Edited by Michael Tonry
Reviews and Awards
"Writings on theories of punishment are legion, but this volume has a distinct freshness--a group of top international scholars with varying perspectives have been encouraged to explore the interfaces between philosophies of punishment and contemporary penal practices. Nothing is taken for granted. Drug courts, 'three strikes and you're out' laws, and sentences lengthened for public protection are all vital issues of public policy that receive scrutiny in this volume. While the title of the volume refers to retributivism, the essays themselves are not confined to discussions of the future of desert theory: they explore the future place of restorative justice, incapacitation and other rationales, and examine challenges to the basic tenets of desert theory. The intellectual freshness of this volume should make it a focus of study and argument for years to come." --Andrew Ashworth, Vinerian Professor of English Law, University of Oxford
"Retributivism Has a Past is an important book that both reconsiders the past and may well reconfigure the future of criminal punishment. Michael Tonry's grand introductory essay examines retributivism's resurgence in light of actual practices, especially in the United States. Each of the essays by other major figures in punishment theory, law, and philosophy critically examines a variety of theories of punishment, old and new. Many of the essays, including several by prominent younger contributors to these debates, engage contemporary theories and concepts of restorative justice, therapeutic jurisprudence, rehabilitation of offenders, and mandatory punishments. Most newer approaches are difficult to reconcile, both in theory and in practice, with retributive understandings of criminal justice." --Kate Stith, Lafayette S. Foster Professor, Yale Law School
"...an important discussion of retributivism, both [in] theory and practice. It is a must read for punishment theorists. The discussion of both theoretical and practical features of retributivism gives the book a wider scope than the philosophical literature and this is a welcome development." -- Stephen Kershnar, Journal of Moral Philosophy