Compulsory Compassion: A Critique of Restorative Justice by Annalise Acorn

By Annalise Acorn

Restorative justice is frequently touted because the humane and politically revolutionary replacement to the inflexible philosophy of retributive punishment that underpins a number of the world's judicial platforms. Emotionally seductive, its rhetoric appeals to a wish for a "right-relation" between contributors and groups, an bargains us a imaginative and prescient of justice that permits for the mutual therapeutic of sufferer and criminal, and with it, a feeling of communal fix. In obligatory Compassion, Annalise Acorn, a one-time suggest for restorative justice, deconstructs the rhetoric of the restorative stream. Drawing from different felony, literary, philosophical, and autobiographical assets, she questions the basic assumptions in the back of that rhetoric: that we will be able to belief wrongdoers' performances of contrition; that therapeutic lies in a deferential, face-to-face come across among sufferer and criminal; and that the restorative concept of right-relation holds the most important to a reconciliation of justice and responsibility at the one hand, with love and compassion at the different.

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When the officer lawfully patted down Quintero, he found a pair of wool gloves in Quintero’s back pocket. ”) At this point, Mrs. Bergan came out and made herself known to the police as the woman who had called the police to report what she had seen. The officer decided to arrest Quintero. In his pockets the police found $140 in cash, five rings (including two class rings bearing different initials and different class years), and some ladies’ jewelry. Later that day the owners of a house one block south of Mrs.

29 Technicalities and Truth Do these additional suspicious facts justify an officer in the reasonable belief that Quintero has committed a crime? ” Most search and seizure decisions are “fact bound,” meaning that they are tied to a narrow set of facts that will never occur in just that way again. And, of course, judges on courts change so who knows how an appellate court will rule? I like to discuss Quintero with my students because it shows the difficulties officers on the street face when they have to anticipate how courts will rule with twenty-twenty hindsight.

We have developed a criminal trial system that is entertaining and that places tremendous emphasis on winning and losing. But the system badly underemphasizes truth. In the long run a trial system that cannot be relied upon to find the truth with a high degree of reliability ends up hurting the vast majority of defendants just as much as it does victims and the general public. 24 CHAPTER TWO Technicalities and Truth The Exclusionary Rule The Vain Quest for Adjudicative Perfection Just as all football-loving Americans believe that enough time and effort devoted to rulings on the football field will yield something close to adjudicative perfection, American judges have the same confidence that adjudicative perfection is achievable in their rulings.

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