On behalf of the Philosophy department, William Bell was award the 2022 Helen Stenner Memorial Prize, for his essay, "Rights Reclamation."
Congratulations William Bell
The abstract of essay
According to a rights forfeiture theory of punishment, liability to punishment hinges upon the notion that criminals forfeit their right against hard treatment. In this paper, I assume the success of rights forfeiture theory in establishing the permissibility of punishment but aim to develop the view by considering in what ways forfeited rights might be reclaimed. Built into the very notion of proportionate punishment is the idea that rights forfeited can be regained. The interesting question is whether punishment is the sole means for reclaiming forfeited rights. I argue for a pluralistic theory of rights reclamation, according to which, there are multiple ways by which the rights-forfeiter can recapture their forfeited rights. In particular, I argue that compensation is a valid means by which a wrongdoer might partially, or fully, reclaim their right against punishment.