Article Title

Reconstructing Constitutional Punishment

Publication Title

Washington University Jurisprudence Review


Constitutional orders punish—and they punish abundantly. However, analysis of the constitutionality of punishment tends to be reactive, focusing on constitutional violations. Considered in this light, the approach to constitutional punishment rests on conditions of unconstitutionality rather than proactively on the constitutional foundations of punishment as a legitimate liberal-democratic practice. Reactive approaches are predominantly informed by moral theories about the conditions under which punishment is legitimate. In contrast, proactive approaches call for a political theory of punishment as a legitimate practice of polities. This Article integrates the reactive and proactive approaches by bridging the divide between moral and political theories of punishment