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Corporal Punishments and Optimal Incapacitation

  • Kan, Steven S
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    This article extends Steven Shavell's analysis of optimal incapacitation to corporal punishment. Using the assumption that some crimes may involve an undeterrable organ only, I argue that, for these crimes, imprisonment cannot be optimal because it would indiscriminately incapacitate other productive organs. I further establish that the death sentence and other cruel corporate punishments can be abolished for good if advanced temporary incapacitative sanctions are available. I conclude that a reform of criminal punishment need not revert to bloody corporal punishment, build more jails, or lock up criminals for longer periods of time using potential victims' money. Instead, a reform can use temporary incapacitative measures that can target particular organs at fault. Copyright 1996 by the University of Chicago.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/467974
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    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Legal Studies.

    Volume (Year): 25 (1996)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 121-30

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:25:y:1996:i:1:p:121-30
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLS/

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