Defiance, Deterrence, and Irrelevance: A Theory of the Criminal Sanction

  title={Defiance, Deterrence, and Irrelevance: A Theory of the Criminal Sanction},
  author={Lawrence W. Sherman},
  journal={Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency},
  pages={445 - 473}
  • L. Sherman
  • Published 1 November 1993
  • Law
  • Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency
Increasing evidence shows great diversity in the effects of the criminal sanction. Legal punishment either reduces, increases, or has no effect on future crimes, depending on the type of offenders, offenses, social settings, and levels of analysis. A theory of “defiance” helps explain the conditions under which punishment increases crime. Procedural justice (fairness or legitimacy) of experienced punishment is essential for the acknowledgment of shame, which conditions deterrence; punishment… 

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