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Retribution is perhaps the most popular contemporary theory about punishment and has enjoyed enduring appeal as the oldest, even most venerable, penal theory with its strong ancient roots. Retribution is understood in many different ways, but the standard view of retribution is that punishment is justified where it is deserved and an offender should be punished in proportion to his desert.
In this volume, retributivism is examined from various critical perspectives, including its diversity, relation with desert, the link between desert and proportionality, retributivist emotions and the idea of mercy. The theory of retribution has been the subject of a revival of interest in recent years and the essays selected for this volume are the leading works on retribution from the dominant international figures in the field.