Denunciation (penology)

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Denunciation in the context of sentencing philosophy is the disapproval of an act by society that is expressed by the imposition of a sentence. This is one of the purposes of sentencing, as well as a possible justification for the imposition of a sentence.

Denunciation arguments can be used to justify more serious sentences than are required by the principles of retribution and deterrence.

Denunciation arguments can also be used to justify the existence of laws which are never enforced; they stand as statements of a society's values rather than working parts of a criminal justice system.