Retributive Justice

Posted by Fred on April 01, 2003

In Reply to: Retributive Justice posted by AA on April 01, 2003

: Anybody heard of retributive justice? Does it mean that it is only just/fair to give people their deserved punishment? Please help! Thanks.
This excerpt from _The Encyclopedia of Philosophy_
(vol. 7, p. 32) is helpful, I think:
'The most extreme form of retributivism
is the law of retaliation: "an eye for an eye."
This alone, Kant claimed, could provide a just measure
of the penalty, since it was the crime itself and
nothing else that settled it. However, to try to
apply it literally might be monstrously cruel, or,
as Kant realized, it might be absurd. Thieves
can be deprived of their property and
murderers hanged, but what penalty is appropriate
to the drug-peddler, the black-mailer and the