retribution | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction / Corrrections

Retribution, in the criminal justice context, refers to the idea that punishment is morally justified as a response to a criminal act.

It is the concept of deserving punishment for the commission of a crime. Retribution is often considered to be one of the primary justifications for punishment in the criminal justice system, and it is closely associated with the principle of lex talionis, or “an eye for an eye.” The idea behind retribution is that criminals should be punished in proportion to the severity of their crimes in order to balance the scales of justice.

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Last Modified: 01/11/2023


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