Consequential Punishment

Consequential punishment is given after litigation with a goal of beneficial consequences. It is a rescinding justice open to clemency, arbitration, and exoneration.  A consequential viewpoint: 1.) recognizes  people can change and is open to giving a second chance, 2.) understands after one pays their debt to society they should be able to get on with their life, and 3.) believes that rehabilitation is effective and life renewal can happen. This punishment has a Goethean worldview. In Goethe’s worldview, Faust can be saved even though the selfish-gene predominated most of his life. In Goethe’s worldview there is a realization that we all have had intentions in our life that have not been the best. The consequential worldview concerns compensation. That is, if restitution is made this perspective allows for atonement, redemption, and restoration of reputation. The consequential stance is open to dispensation after recantation. This view advocates for reprievement, expungement, or extirpation of criminal records. This worldview is a Voltairean relativistic view. Voltaire asked, “what is tolerance?  It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly – that is the first law of nature.” (18th Cent) Recommendation: I suggest consequential punishment should take into consideration that the human brain doesn’t reach full development until ages 21-22, when synaptic pruning and myelination is complete — only then do we have frontal lobe brain capacity to rationally consider our decisions and actions. This is not an excuse for certain actions —> only a reminder that a young brain can do stupid things.


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