Should the Late Stage Demented be Punished for Past Crimes?
- Annette Dufner
- … show all 1 hide
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
The paper investigates whether it is plausible to hold the late stage demented criminally responsible for past actions. The concern is based on the fact that policy makers in the United States and in Britain are starting to wonder what to do with prison inmates in the later stages of dementia who do not remember their crimes anymore. The problem has to be expected to become more urgent as the population ages and the number of dementia patients increases. This paper argues that the late-stage demented should not be punished for past crimes. Applicable theories of punishment, especially theories with an appropriate expressivist, or communicative element, fail to justify the imprisonment of the late-stage demented. Further imprisonment would require a capacity for comprehension on the part of the punished, and, under certain narrowly specified conditions, even a capacity to be at least in principle capable of recalling the crime again.
- Alzheimer’s Association. (2011). 2011 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 7(2), 208–244. CrossRef
- Alzheimer’s Association. (2012). 2012 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 8(2), 131–168. CrossRef
- Blumstein, A., Cohen, J., & Nagin, D. (Eds.). (1986). Deterrence and incapacitation: Estimating the effects of criminal sanctions on crime rates. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences.
- Brink, D. (1997). Rational egoism and the separateness of persons. In J. Dancy (Ed.), Reading Parfit (pp. 96–134). Oxford: Blackwell.
- Buchanan, A., & Brock, D. (1990). Deciding for others: The ethics of surrogate decision-making. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
- Dölling, D., Entorf, H., Hermann, D., & Rupp, T. (2009). Is deterrence effective? Results of a meta-analysis of punishment. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 15(1–2), 201–224. CrossRef
- Dresser, R. (1986). Life, death, and incompetent patients: Conceptual infirmities and hidden values in the law. Arizona Law Review, 28(3), 373–405.
- Duff, A. (1986). Trials & punishments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Duff, A. (2001). Punishment, communication, and community. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Dworkin, R. (1993). Life’s dominion: An argument about abortion, euthanasia, and individual freedom. New York: Knopf.
- Fazel, S., McMillan, J., & O’Donnell, I. (2002). Dementia in prison: Ethical and legal implications. Journal of Medical Ethics, 28(3), 156–159. CrossRef
- Feinberg, J. (1970). Doing and deserving. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
- Hart, H. L. A. (1986). Punishment and responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Hill, M. (2007). New York prison creates dementia unit. June: Associated Press. 3.
- Jaworska, A. (1999). Respecting the margins of agency: Alzheimer’s patients and the capacity to value. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 28(2), 105–138. CrossRef
- Latzer, B. (2003). Between madness and death: The medicate-to-execute controversy. Criminal Justice Ethics, 22(2), 3–14. CrossRef
- Locke, J. (1975). On identity and diversity. In J. Perry (Ed.), Personal identity (pp. 33–52). Berkeley: University of California Press.
- McMahan, J. (2002). The ethics of killing. New York: Oxford University Press. CrossRef
- Nietzsche, F. (1967). On the genealogy of morals. In W. Kaufmann, & R. J. Hollingdale (Trans.) (Ed.), On the genealogy of morals and ecce homo. New York: Random House.
- Parfit, D. (1984). Reasons and persons. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Reid, T. (1975). Of Mr. Locke’s account of our personal identity. In J. Perry (Ed.), Personal identity. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Shoemaker, D. (2012). Responsibility without identity. Harvard Review of Philosophy, XVIII.
- World Health Organization. (2004). International statistical classification of diseases and related problems (10th ed.). Geneva: WHO.
- Should the Late Stage Demented be Punished for Past Crimes?
Criminal Law and Philosophy
Volume 7, Issue 1 , pp 137-150
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Criminal responsibility
- Personal identity
- Industry Sectors
- Annette Dufner (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Centre for Advanced Study in Bioethics, University of Muenster, Geiststr. 24-26, 48151, Muenster, Germany