Notwithstanding the demands of retributive desert, strict criminal liability is sometimes defensible when the strict liability pertains, not to whether conduct is to be criminalized at all, but to the seriousness of the actor’s crime. Suppose an actor commits an intentional assault or rape, and accidentally brings about a death. Punishing the actor more seriously because the death resulted is sometimes justifiable, even absent proof of his independent culpability as to the death. But what punishment is proportionate for such an actor? Should he be punished as harshly as an intentional or knowing killer?
Is Strict Criminal Liability in the Grading of Offenses Consistent with Retributive Desert?,
Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
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