Utilitas 29 (3):257-285 (2017)

Authors
Benjamin S. Yost
Cornell University
Abstract
Half of the drug offenders incarcerated in the United States are black, even though whites and blacks use and sell drugs at the same rate, and blacks make up only 13 percent of the population. Noncomparativists about retributive justice see nothing wrong with this picture; for them, an offender’s desert is insensitive to facts about other offenders. By contrast, comparativists about retributive justice assert that facts about others can partially determine an offender’s desert. Not surprisingly, comparativists, especially comparative egalitarians, contend that differential punishment is retributively unjust. I agree with this assessment, but take issue with the reasons egalitarians cite in its favor. In this paper, I argue that differential punishment violates retributive justice because it contributes to structural racial oppression. Over the course of developing and defending this claim, I identify the shortcomings of both comparative egalitarianism and respectarianism, which is the most popular and plausible brand of noncomparativism.
Keywords Punishment  Retributivism  Egalitarianism  Structural injustice  Structural oppression  Racial oppression
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1017/s095382081600039x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,811
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Action.John Hawthorne & Jason Stanley - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):571-590.
What is Egalitarianism?Samuel Scheffler - 2003 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 31 (1):5-39.
Punishment and Responsibility.H. L. A. Hart - 1968 - Philosophy 45 (172):162-162.
Persons and Punishment.Herbert Morris - 1968 - The Monist 52 (4):475-501.
Necessity, Volition and Love.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (202):114-116.

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Punishment, Reintegration, and Atypical Victims.Christopher Ciocchetti - 2004 - Criminal Justice Ethics 23 (2):25-38.
Moral Luck, Role-Based Ethics and the Punishment of Attempts.A. T. Nuyen - 2008 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 22 (1):59-69.
The Wrong of Mass Punishment.Hamish Stewart - 2018 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 12 (1):45-57.
Moral Luck and the Punishment of Attempts.A. Nuyen - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 50:499-505.
The Problem of Punishment.David Boonin - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.
Just Ethical Punishment.Haig Khatchadourian - 1982 - Journal of Value Inquiry 16 (1):3 - 20.
Gossip and Social Punishment.Linda Radzik - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (1):185-204.
A Sketch of an Integrative Theory of Punishment.Joel Kidder - 1982 - American Philosophical Quarterly 19 (2):197 - 202.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-04-05

Total views
52 ( #209,883 of 2,463,231 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #223,581 of 2,463,231 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes