By Austin Sarat, Nasser Hussain
Arguments for forgiveness, mercy, and clemency abound. those arguments flourish in equipped faith, fiction, philosophy, and legislation in addition to in daily conversations of lifestyle between mom and dad and kids, academics and scholars, and criminals and people who pass judgement on them. As universal as those arguments are, we're frequently left with an incomplete realizing of what we suggest after we discuss them. This quantity examines the registers of person psychology, spiritual trust, social perform, and political energy circulating in and round those that forgive, provide mercy, or pose clemency energy. The authors recommend that, in lots of methods, worthwhile examinations of the questions of forgiveness and pardon and the relationship among mercy and justice are just simply starting.
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Extra info for Forgiveness, Mercy, and Clemency
But my account is more ambitious in that it argues for a place for the virtue of mercy in institutions of criminal justice regardless of which normative theory or theories the criminal justice system seeks to promote or instantiate. In brief, I argue that both retributivism and social welfare theory, at least as they play out within our current institutions of criminal justice, have predictable biases toward too much punishment. In other words, the several-decade-long trend toward increased harshness in punishment in our country is not, or not only, the product of an inevitable pendulum swing in criminal justice policy.
Can legislatures be merciful? Or is mercy necessarily individual, perhaps the province only of discrete victims of crime? Under this last view, should the legal system have any role in fostering conditions for reconciliation between victims and offenders? By attempting to carve out and protect a power of mercy within our criminal justice system, do we inevitably increase the problems of arbitrariness and bias beyond what we would endure without such a commitment? The urgency of these questions may be new, but not the questions themselves.
Does justice require the imposition of deserved punishment? Is mercy related or opposed or indifferent to the moral desert of an offender? Does mercy describe merely an act, or does it describe something about the state of mind of the mercy giver? Or something about the relationship between the mercy giver and receiver? What is the relationship between mercy and the constellation of emotions or attitudes we call pity, empathy, compassion, and forgiveness? Is mercy opposed to reason? Can the exercise of mercy be evaluated?
Forgiveness, Mercy, and Clemency by Austin Sarat, Nasser Hussain