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Retributive and restorative justice: Importance of crime severity and shared identity in people’s justice responses.

Gromet, Dena M.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2009) Australian Journal of Psychology. 61(1):50-57.

Retributive and restorative justice present two different responses to wrongdoing: one that focuses on addressing the moral
wrong through punitive sanctions (retribution) and one that focuses on addressing the harm that has been caused through
reparative sanctions (restoration). Psychological investigations of what factors influence which justice outcome that people
desire (retributive, restorative, or both) have focused on two constructs: crime severity and shared identity. The crime
severity approach contends that people can have multiple justice goals, and which justice goals people want to fulfil is
dependent on the salient features of the situation (such as offence seriousness). The shared identity approach argues that
people’s desire for restoration or retribution is dependent on the shared identity and perceptions of value consensus between
offender and victim in the judgement context. The findings related to both of these factors are reviewed, and possibilities for
future research integrating these two approaches are discussed. (author’s abstract)


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