Constitutional Court Review 9:113-134 (2019)

Authors
Thaddeus Metz
University of Pretoria
Abstract
In this article, I seek to answer the following cluster of questions: What would a characteristically African, and specifically relational, conception of a criminal trial’s final end look like? What would the Afro-relational approach prescribe for sentencing? Would its implications for this matter forcefully rival the kinds of penalties that judges in South Africa and similar jurisdictions typically mete out? After pointing out how the southern African ethic of ubuntu is well understood as a relational ethic, I draw out of it a certain conception of reconciliation that I advance as a strong candidate for being the proper final end of a criminal trial. I argue that, far from requiring forgiveness, seeking reconciliation can provide strong reason to punish offenders. Specifically, a reconciliatory sentence is one that roughly has offenders reform their characters and compensate their victims in ways the offenders find burdensome, thereby disavowing the crime and tending to foster cooperation and mutual aid. I argue that this novel account of punishment is a prima facie attractive alternative to more familiar retributive and deterrence rationales, and that it entails that widespread practices such as imprisonment and mandatory minimum sentences are unjust.
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References found in this work BETA

Crime and Punishment.[author unknown] - forthcoming - Latest Results.
Toward an African Moral Theory.Thaddeus Metz - 2007 - Journal of Political Philosophy 15 (3):321–341.
A Paternalistic Theory of Punishment.Herbert Morris - 1981 - American Philosophical Quarterly 18 (4):263 - 271.
Why Punish the Deserving?Douglas N. Husak - 1992 - Noûs 26 (4):447-464.
Playing Fair with Punishment.Richard Dagger - 1993 - Ethics 103 (3):473-488.

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