5th Edition

On Crimes and Punishments

By Cesare Beccaria Copyright 2009
    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    Cesare Beccaria's influential treatise On Crimes and Punishments is considered a foundational work in the field of criminology. Three major themes of the Enlightenment run through the treatise: the idea that the social contract forms the moral and political basis of the work's reformist zeal; the idea that science supports a dispassionate and reasoned appeal for reforms; and the belief that progress is inextricably bound to science. All three provide the foundation for accepting Beccaria's proposals.

    It is virtually impossible to ascertain which of several versions of the treatise that appeared during his lifetime best reflected Beccaria's thoughts. His use of many Enlightenment ideas also makes it difficult to interpret what he has written. While Enlightenment thinkers advocated free men and free minds, there was considerable disagreement as to how this might be achieved, except in the most general terms.

    The editors have based this translation on the 1984 Francioni text, the most exhaustive critical Italian edition of Dei delitti e delle pene. This edition is the last that Beccaria personally oversaw and revised. This translation includes an outstanding opening essay by the editors and is a welcome introduction to Beccaria and the beginnings of criminology.


    Introduction to the Treatise, A Note on the Text, Biographical Note, On Crimes and Punishments, To the Reader, Introduction, I The Origin of Punishments, II The Right to Punish, III Implications So Far, IV The Interpretation of Laws, V The Obscurity of the Laws, VI The Proportion between Crime and Punishment, VII Errors in the Measurement of Crime, VIII The Classification of Crimes, IX Honor, X Duels, XI Disturbing the Peace, XII The Purpose of Punishment, XIII On Witnesses, XIV Evidence and Forms of Judgment, XV Secret Accusations, XVI Torture, XVII Revenue Authorities, XVIII Oaths, XIX Prompt Punishment, XX Violent Crimes, XXI Punishing Nobles, XXII Theft, XXIII Public Condemnation, XXIV Political Indolence, XXV Banishment and Confiscation, XXVI On the Spirit of the Family, XXVII The Mildness of Punishments, XXVIII The Punishment of Death, XXIX Preventive Detention, XXX Criminal Proceedings, XXXI Crimes Difficult to Prove, XXXII Suicide, XXXIII Smuggling, XXXIV Debtors, XXXV Sanctuaries, XXXVI Bounties, XXXVII Attempts, Accomplices, Pardons, XXXVIII Suggestive Interrogations, Depositions, XXXIX On a Particular Kind of Crime, XL False Ideas of Utility, XLI How to Prevent Crimes, XLII On the Sciences, XLIII Judges, XLIV Rewards, XLV Education, XLVI On Pardons, XLVII Conclusion, Endnotes, References


    Georg Koopmann