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Tempering justice with compassion: Rationales of personal mitigation in sentencing.

Van Stokkom, Bas
June 4, 2015

Source: (2013) In, David J. Cornwell, John Blad, and Martin Wright, eds., Civilising criminal justice: An international restorative justice agenda for penal reform. pp. 255-286.

I will reinterpret Tasioulas’ theory and argue that mercy can be viewed as one aspect of a broader category of special concern and care for the offender and the persons affected (his dependants/those to whom he owes something). The several grounds for personal mitigation do have a common ethical basis: by giving attention to specific interests and needs justice can be tempered with compassion. Within his perspective we can facilitate responsibility and devise individualised sentences, giving counterweight to abstract justice orthodoxies. (Excerpt)


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