Antony Duff's Essay: Restoration Without Retribution

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Restoration Without Retribution 1. Introduction In his paper, “Restoration and Retribution,” Antony Duff contends that to defend retributive justice it is not incompatible with defending restorative justice. He maintains that a restorative view is right to insist that responses to crime should be restorative and that retributivists are also right to demand that offenders suffer the punishments they deserve. Yet, Duff makes the further claim that restoration is not merely compatible with retribution: it requires retribution. I offer an objection to Duff’s account of restorative justice and argue that, contrary to his novel position, restoration does not necessarily require retribution. I show that in order for Duff’s defense of the compatibility…show more content…
How does the offender’s past affect his motivation to harm others? We might wonder which factors constrained the offender’s reasons for a particular action, and how much the reasons counted should bear on our notion of desert. Being skeptical about desert is a natural reaction to our own interpersonal relationships. As Erin Kelly argues: “The possibility of explaining a friend’s morally unjustifiable actions by reference to her impulses, circumstances, prior experiences, or dispositions threatens the investment we have made in viewing her as capable of doing what she ought to despite her past experiences, psychological traits, or other features of the causal order.” Of course, this renders our moral expectations a bit unsettling. We judge others according to our own process of moral evaluation: by identifying and scrutinizing our actions and the reasons why we act we essentially come to a deeper understanding of ourselves. Ideally, we pay attention to our motives and reflect on our abilities to control rash and impulsive behavior. So it’s naturally to extend this sort of moral evaluation to others who harm us. When others mistreat us it’s only natural to be offended and perplexed by the harm caused. We are outraged that a person would violate another in order to satisfy their own selfish desire for power. And particularly we are outraged not just that we our rights have been denied, but we are outraged at the specific person(s) who violated our rights. But we still should want to know what lead the person to act in such a monstrous way. Indeed, our moral indignation is premised on the belief that what they did to us was not inevitable; we believe that the offender could have chosen to act

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