CONN 318

Crime and Punishment

The U.S. criminal justice system has embraced retribution at the expense of other models of justice. Because retributive punishment hurts and sometimes kills, it is wrong, or it needs justifying. What purposes does punishment serve? Are there alternatives to it? This course explores justice as revenge, retribution, reform, and restoration from the disciplinary perspectives of sociology, psychology, critical theory, religion, and philosophy. The course also explores the effects of crime on victims, while also seeking to understand violent offenders' moral blameworthiness. Particular attention is given to Christian, Jewish, and philosophical arguments for and against the death penalty.