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Criminal Attempts and the Subjectivism/Objectivism Debate

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This essay offers a particular view of the distinction between criminal attempts and actions that could constitute “mere preparation” for the later commission of a crime, that prioritizes a proper balancing of public safety and the protection of individual liberty. Modeled after Hart's distinction between the general justifying aims and the principles of distribution of a system of punishment, this view allows a coherent way of distinguishing between attempts and mere preparation that avoids many difficulties associated with subjectivist and objectivist approaches. **
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Wheaton College, Department of Philosophy, Massachusetts, USA

Publication date: 2004-09-01

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