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Two Kinds of Criminal Wrongs
Cornell Law Faculty Publications
  • Stephen P. Garvey, Cornell Law School
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Criminal wrongdoing,
  • Punishment as secular penance,
  • Crime and punishment,
  • State v. Forrest,
  • People v. Goetz,
  • State v. Williams,
  • Walker v. Superior Court,
  • Criminal law excuses,
  • Crime as moral failure,
  • Crimes of negligence
I distinguish two kinds of criminal wrongs. A wrongdoer who acts in defiance of his conscience is guilty of what I call a wicked wrong. A wrongdoer who does not act in defiance of his conscience is guilty of what I call a vicious wrong. The distinction is derived from a conception of immorality typically associated with the Christian tradition. The distinction is important because it determines the moral message a wrongdoer should try to send through the punishment or penance he must endure in order to atone for his wrongdoing.
Publication Citation
Published in: Punishment and Society, vol. 5, no. 3 (July 2003).
Citation Information
Stephen P. Garvey. "Two Kinds of Criminal Wrongs" (2003)
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