A Paradoxical Ambivalence in Criminal Law Purposes and Functions of Punishment
Laura Zavatta

Over time, the State has completely replaced the victim in the protection of his property, supplanting his instinct for revenge with the ability to “repair the damage suffered” through criminal law. Criminal law, through the imposition of sanctions, has achieved an essential dimension of guarantee and protection of justice, so much so that it is emblematically referred to as the magna charta of victims and criminals. So the penalty, in a predominantly retributive perspective, has achieved a dual purpose and function: the restoration of social peace in the community broken by the crime, and the reparation of the wrong suffered by the victim elevated to the rank of abstract entity. However, many questions remain open. On the one hand, victims of crime, even if compensated, seem destined to suffer without the possibility of ultimate spiritual reparation. That is, victims will not be able to return to living life as they did before the crime, without the suffering it caused. On the other hand, the human dignity of criminals, or alleged criminals, has encountered and still encounters serious dangers precisely because of the procedures implemented by criminal law. There is, in fact, a paradoxical ambivalence: if criminal law is necessary for the protection of a healthy and harmonious civil coexistence, and to try to bring justice to the victims of crime, on the other hand it indisputably always threatens to do - and in the history of the world has often done - serious damage to fundamental human rights.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jlcj.v8n2a9