Retribution is the idea that the criminal must pay for wrongs
perpetrated against society.
The biblical phrase “an eye for an eye” is often invoked in
Another oft-used phrase is that criminals must be given their
Some people question whether retribution, or legalized
vengeance, is a legitimate goal of criminal justice.
The desire for revenge is deep-seated in the human psyche
and that if the state does not exact vengeance individuals
will resort to vigilantism.
Another defense of retribution focuses on the need for
expiation of guilt--criminals must suffer in order to atone for
Defenders of retribution note that it involves proportionality-
-offenders are punished, but punishment must fit the crime.