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Responding to the Culpable State: Is Sentence Mitigation Appropriate?

Edited by: Leo Zaibert, Julian V. Roberts, Jesper Ryberg

ISBN13: 9781509975655
To be Published: February 2025
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £90.00
Paperback edition not yet published, ISBN13 9781509975648

This volume explores ethical aspects relating to claims for mitigation arising from culpable state action (or inaction). It answers the important and controversial question: to what extent should the state mitigate sentencing for defendants who have been victims of state misconduct?

The volume explores the normative justifications for mitigation and answers many intriguing questions. For example, in terms of the procedural challenges, should the offender have to prove a causal link between state wrongdoing or neglect and the offending? Can a court take judicial notice of state-induced social adversity and apply this consideration to all affected offenders? Other questions relate to the implications for courts and sentencing commissions which issue guidance to courts regarding mitigation at sentencing. To what extent is the offender less culpable as a result of state misconduct, and what are the limits of any resulting sentence reductions? Do sentence reductions for state misconduct undermine proportionality, or deprecate the seriousness of the impact on the victim of crime? Should this factor be included in any sentencing guidelines or possibly even as a statutory mitigating factor?

Each contribution explores a distinct, cross-jurisdictional claim for mitigation on the basis of State negligence or misconduct towards the offender. The chapters all address the appropriate response of courts at sentencing.

Criminal Law
1. Social Injustice, Penal Theory, and Sentence Mitigation, Leo Zaibert (University of Cambridge, UK)
2. Unpacking the Recidivist Discount, Antje du Bois-Pedain (University of Cambridge, UK)
3. Social Adversity Mitigations: An Epistemic Justice Account, Andrei Poama, (University of Leiden, the Netherlands)
4. Retributivism, Responsibility, and Social Adversity Mitigations, Jesper Ryberg (Roskilde University, Denmark)
5. From Penal Theory to Legal Practice: Implementing State Misconduct Mitigation, Julian Roberts (University of Oxford, UK)
6. The Role of Political Obligation, Goeran Duus-Otterstrom, (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
7. State Misconduct and the Standing to Punish: Reparation of Injustices, Hend Hanafy (University of Cambridge, UK)
8. Citizenship, Punishment, and Mitigation, Ekow Yankah (University of Michigan, USA)
9. Police Misconduct, Sentence Mitigation, and Proportionate Punishment, Gabrielle Watson (University of Edinburgh, UK)
10. A Complementary Conception of Censure at Sentencing to Account for State Misconduct, Marie Manikis (University of McGill, Canada)
11. Faulty State and Fair Punishment, Vera Bergelson (Rutgers University, USA)
12. Should Context Matter for Punishment? Thom Brooks (University of Durham, UK)
13. Making Sense of State Misconduct and Punishment, Matt Matravers (University of York, UK)

Series: Studies in Penal Theory and Philosophy

Punishment and Citizenship: A Theory of Criminal Disenfranchisement ISBN 9780190848620
Published January 2019
Oxford University Press
Taming the Presumption of Innocence ISBN 9780190469191
Published March 2016
Oxford University Press
Popular Punishment: On the Normative Significance of Public Opinion ISBN 9780199941377
Published July 2014
Oxford University Press