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Virtue and Criminal Negligence

NCJ Number
Buffalo Criminal Law Review Volume: 1 Issue: 2 Dated: 1998 Pages: 431-458
K Huigens
Date Published
28 pages
Criminal negligence has been seen as a unique and problematic basis for punishment, and the author shows criminal negligence is not an unjust anomaly.
Unlike other forms of culpability, criminal negligence does not depend on consciousness of harm and is often said to result in objective liability as opposed to subjective liability. Instances of inculpation in the absence of consciousness of harm are examined, and the contention that negligence is not a proper basis for punishment is criticized. The author believes that culpability should be interpreted along Aristotelian lines to obtain an adequate theoretical account of culpability in the absence of consciousness of harm and that such an interpretation is missing from the theoretical base of penal codes. He considers criminal negligence as a representative kind of culpability, criminal negligence in the context of voluntariness and choice, theories of voluntariness and responsibility, and punishment for criminal negligence. 77 footnotes


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