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Comment on Umbreit and Vos. Retributive Versus Restorative Justice

Radelet, Michael L
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) Homicide Studies. 4(1):88-92.

In this essay, Michael Radelet and Marian Borg respond to an article by Mark Umbreit and Betty Vos in the same issue of Homicide Studies. Umbreit and Vos, focusing on restorative justice through dialogue, discuss situations where homicide survivors met the offender prior to execution. Radelet and Borg do not directly challenge the perspective of Umbreit and Vos that both family survivors of homicide and the perpetrator may derive benefits from dialogue. Rather, they argue that the state should promote restorative justice between survivors and offenders by abolishing capital punishment. Put another way, the state should stop promoting the belief – a false belief, in the views of Radelet and Borg – that capital punishment fosters healing for families of homicide victims.


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