It is widely accepted that (1) criminalization creates a prudential reason to refrain from the criminalized conduct in order to avoid punishment and (2) prudence is not the right reason to refrain from wrongdoing. According to Michael S. Moore these facts should lead us to conclude that the criminalization of wrongful conduct corrupts motives by making some who would otherwise have refrained from wrongdoing for the right reason, refrain from wrongdoing only out of prudence. This paper argues that (1) and (2) provides no reason to believe that criminalization corrupts motives, but should instead lead us to conclude that the criminalization of wrongful conduct obscures motives by making it harder to identify those who refrain from wrongdoing for the right reason. The paper then goes on to argue that the badness of obscuring motives is a pro tanto reason against criminalizing wrongdoing.
|Journal||Criminal Law and Philosophy|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 2020|