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Unformatted text preview: is that they use those who are punished as mere means to attain the good consequences sought to be promoted, rather than as ends in themselves. n399 Retributivism, in contrast, allegedly treats offenders as ends in themselves by giving offenders [*925] only what they deserve. n400 But retributivism, it will be demonstrated, also uses persons as mere means. After explaining the means/ends distinction, we will briefly consider the state of the debate as to the distinction's relevance in the theory of punishment. The principal focus of this Part, however, will be to make the novel argument that retributivism, in violation of Kant's maxim, n401 perversely uses crime victims as mere means in order to treat their victimizers (criminal offenders) as ends in themselves. Retributivism exploits crime victims as, in Karl Marx's inimitable phrase, "slaves of justice." Retributivism Uses Crime Victims as Mere Means Russell L. Christopher; Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Florida State University, College of Law (Spring 2002); Assistant Professor of Law, University of Tulsa, College of Law (Fall 2002); Northwestern University Law Review; Spring, 2002 The previous subpart considered the retributivist charge that consequentialist theories immorally use as mere means the offenders they punish. This subpart will make the novel and seemingly radical argument that retributivism intentionally uses crime victims as mere means in order to treat their victimizers (that is, the criminals) as ends in themselves. Although this claim might seem preposterous at the outset, other commentators have made related claims. Louis Kaplow and Steven Shavell note that it is [*934] criminals who use society as a mere means. n470 And Jeffrie Murphy hints that victims might be used by the state for its own ends. n471 Before attempting to defend this radical claim, let us briefly set out the steps of the argument: 1) Victim-relative norm violation is necessary for the imposition of retributive punishment and for retributivism to treat culpable wrongdoer...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.
- Fall '13