The reality is that nobody is smart enough to get justice right when attempting to balance the factors that

progressive justice tries to balance. Consider how hard it is for parents to be sure whether a misbehaving child needs an explanation with a hug, a stern warning or a lesson that won't soon be forgotten. Now compare how much parents know about their own children with how little judges know about convicted offenders who appear before them for sentencing.- Charles Murray, “Simple Justice,” Sunday Times, January 25, 2004, Lexis. Murray argues that successful rehabilitation requires knowledge of many variables which often elude judges. This is because the theory itself relies on a premise that dooms its own feasibility – the idea that humans are too complex for a single prescription to end a life of crime is also a reason why attempting to impose personalized sentencing based on the needs and circumstances of a particular offender is nearly impossible. Criminal behavior was seen as the symptom of a pathological personality disorder which was the result of early nurture and environmental influence. To solve the problem of crime, it was said, we should not use the blunt instrument of punishment but rather look to the individual circumstances of each criminal and try, through therapy, to modify those features of his personality which disposed him to crime. This put a lot of trust in professional judgment about the nature of the therapeutic regime and entrenched discretionary power with parole or probation officers, for example. This professional authority in turn depended on the view that there was an explanation for human behavior which would enable us to diagnose the nature of this personality disorder and the appropriate form of treatment.- Raymond Plant, “Don’t write off retribution,” The Times, May 24, 1989, Lexis. Plant argues that, along with the low chance of determining an effective treatment for criminal behavior, rehabilitation advocates are begging the question: they posit that there is always a social cause for criminal behavior and, in so doing, ensure that they will find said cause in every instance because they were looking for it in the first place.

Criminal activity is a choice; it should be punished as one. Respect the criminal Charles Murray indicates that Unlike rehabilitation advocates who stress the degree to which criminal actions are pre-figured and often caused by a variety of factors outside of an individual’s control, retribution advocates stress that all choices are still ultimately up to the individual. Yes, it may be simpler for a rich man to resist stealing than for a poor man to do so, but how then do we explain rich men who steal millions and poor men who never steal at all? Retribution advocates stress that an individual bears ultimate responsibility for crime, regardless of mitigating circumstances. The rehabilitative approach assumes individuals cannot make their own choices, which devalues individual free will. Arguing that individuals have little to no control over what they do is insulting and removes both credit and blame, making crime prevention meaningless. Human dignity is best honored by promoting individual responsibility; this way, individuals can feel a sense of ownership and control over their own lives.

emphasizing rehabilitation in the criminal justice system expands the state’s ability to commit unwarranted rights violations.

Andrew Von Hirsch and Lisa Maher 1 confirm: “Are rehabilitative responses intrinsically less onerous? Not necessarily. Consider offenders convicted of crimes of intermediate or lesser gravity. A proportionate sanction for such offenses should be of no more than moderate severity. What of a rehabilitative response? That would depend on how much intervention, and how long, is required to alter the offender’s propensities—and to succeed, the intervention may have to be quite substantial

When the criminal justice system attempts to provide criminals with more than their just deserts it opens the door to unpredictable sentencing. Emphasizing rehabilitation maximizes state discretion to treat offenders however it sees fit, justifying detaining criminals for an indefinite period of time. Retribution actively limits the state’s discretion, holding it accountable for how much and for how long it punishes offenders, effectively maintaining limits and achieving justice. Pg 44 Pg 50 Pg 70 71

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