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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 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.
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