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Punishment and purpose: From moral theory to punishment in action.

de Keijser, Jan Willem
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) Foreword by John Braithwaite. Amsterdam: Thela Thesis.

In this book-length study, Jan de Keijser looks at Dutch legal attitudes toward philosophies of sentencing. His aim is to explore issues concerning the question of a legitimizing, underlying framework for punishment. What is the relationship between moral theory and the practice of punishment? Is there a consistent legitimizing framework in the Netherlands that underlies the institution and practice of legal punishment? As he observes, different theoretical approaches may have various, even conflicting, implications for the actual practice of punishment. To explore these matters, de Keijser reviews the theoretical debate among three main philosophies of sentencing: retributivism; utilitarianism; and restorative justice. He then presents his findings on penal attitudes (attitudes regarding the goals and functions of punishment) among Dutch magistrates. He further refines his findings by presenting results from scenario studies rooted in concrete cases that were part of his research into the attitudes of the magistrates. Numerous tables and figures throughout the book provide statistical information on his research methods and results.


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