The Proper Role of the Community in Determining Criminal Liability and Punishment

Document Type



This essay argues that community views ought to have a central role in constructing criminal law and punishment rules, for both democratic and crime-control reasons, but ought not to have a role in the adjudication of individual cases. The differences in the American and Chinese debates on these issues are examined and discussed.

Date of Authorship for this Version



Empirical desert, moral credibility, stigmatize, vigilantism, social norms, utility of desert, disutility of injustice, community views, retributivism, three-strikes, drug penalties, felony-murder rule, insanity defense, strict liability offenses, American and Chinese debates