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This book provides an overview of a theory of criminal sanctioning that emphasises the degree of seriousness of the criminal offence in deciding the severity of a convicted offender’s sentence. This approach calls for a supporting rationale, and the rationale addressed herein is often (especially in English- language discussion) referred to as the “desert model”. “Desert”, understood literally, is simply that which is deserved, and a variety of reasons (including traditional retributive conceptions) might be offered on how much punishment offenders deserve. The "desert model" defended here, however, is a newer rather than a traditional account; it is one which has had some considerable influence in contemporary penology, and one which the author of this book has been instrumental in developing over the last decades.