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Punishment and Beyond: Achieving Justice Through the Satisfaction of Multiple Goals

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Abstract:

We investigated the hypothesis that people's need for punishment does not preclude a desire for restorative sanctions that address the repairing of the harm to victims and communities caused by wrongdoing. Study 1 showed that although people felt it was important to punish the offender to achieve justice, they viewed additional justice goals as equally necessary. Study 2 revealed that people viewed sanctions as differentially able to fulfill various justice goals. Study 3 showed that the target on which respondents focused—the offender, victim, or community—determined which sanctions they selected to achieve justice; and that people did tend, by default, to focus on punishing the offender when responding to crime. These findings, taken together, suggest that people view the satisfaction of multiple justice goals as an appropriate and just response to wrongdoing, which allows for a possible reconciliation between the “conflicting” goals of restorative and retributive justice.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5893.2009.00365.x

Affiliations: Princeton University

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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