Chapter 2 - Law, Justice, and Society: A Sociolegal...

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Click to edit Master subtitle style Law, Justice, and Society: A Sociolegal Introduction Chapter 2 Justice and the Law
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Justice and the Law What is Justice? Where does it come from? What is its relationship to the law?
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Justice and the Law What is Justice?
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Justice and the Law How a political entity distributes resources to its members Rightful, merited, and deserved distribution Not about need Just distribution depends on the individual’s contributions and value to the community Distributive Justice
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Justice and the Law Retributive justice is concerned with how a society determines guilt/innocence ( procedural retributive justice ) and how it determines the proper punishment ( substantive procedural justice ) Substantive law places limits on individuals’ actions Procedural law places limits on the agents of the state as they enforce substantive law Retributive Justice
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Justice and the Law Concerned with individuals getting what they rightly deserve according to their behavior To be just, a society must punish with fairness and impartiality Equals must be punished equally and unequals punished unequally according to relevant differences Retributive Justice (cont.)
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Justice and the Law What is relevant? Example: Amount of harm done by criminal Race, religion, sexual orientation Differences of conduct, not of ascribed statuses Equality of pain versus equality of instrument Example: day-fine system Sentencing disparity sentencing guidelines seek to ensure just punishments by taking into account relevant differences Retributive Justice (cont.)
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Justice and the Law Operationalizes Aristotle’s definition of justice by assigning numbers to various aspects of the crime and of the criminal’s characteristics Characteristics of the crime taken into account: statutory gravity of the crime (first or second degree) if the defendant was on probation, parole, or bail when the crime was committed Sentencing Guidelines
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Justice and the Law Characteristics of the crime taken into account (cont.): the amount of monetary loss aggravating and mitigating circumstances Characteristics of the criminal taken into account: prior felonies and misdemeanor offenses prior probation, parole, or bail violations any prison time previously served by defendant mitigating factors (family bread-winner, substantia Sentencing Guidelines (cont.)
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Justice and the Law What are relevant differences? (conduct versus socially ascribed statuses) Process may be identical but result cannot be identical under current socioeconomic system justice is another commodity for sale best justice money can buy Problems with Aristotle’s Definition
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Justice and the Law The study of legal decision-making
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This note was uploaded on 09/05/2011 for the course CJ 103 taught by Professor Cluphf during the Spring '11 term at Boise State.

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Chapter 2 - Law, Justice, and Society: A Sociolegal...

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