chapter  3
11 Pages

‘Sympathy to the offender’

The Hobbesian account and the sympathy to the offender as an issue in end-of-life care (part A)
WithSue Read, Sotirios Santatzoglou

This chapter discusses the question of the public legitimacy of sympathy to the offender. It considers the question of legitimacy within the criminal context and more specifically with regards to the emotions of the end-of-life-care professionals. The chapter uses the terms 'sympathy', 'compassion' and 'pity'. It also considers the legitimacy of emotions within the criminal context, public or professional, rather than addressing their conceptual structure. The criminal justice context, which administers the imputation of criminal liability and punishment, is not foreign to ideas and values relevant to compassion. Ideas of compassionate penal reform may seek legitimacy through the logic of the rationalisation of crime control. This logic corresponds to a crime prevention theme and its ideas of the scientific analysis of crime reduction. Historically, a number of compassion-inspired penal reform projects subordinated their public aims to the rationalisation of compassion, namely to the prevention of crime.