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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 29, Issue 2, Fall 2015

Jesper Ryberg
Pages 253-269

Youth Discounts, Diminished Culpability, and Retributivism

An often-suggested way of giving content to the view that adolescent offenders should be punished more leniently than adult offenders has been to advocate the idea of a general youth discount for adolescents. Several theorists hold that a youth discount can be justified on a retributivist ground. But is the idea of a general youth discount consistent with the basic idea of giving individual offenders their just deserts? This article examines three arguments that have been presented to this effect. It is argued that the arguments are implausible and that the idea of a retributively justified general youth discount for adolescent offenders is unpersuasive.

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