Edward P. Abbot


On May 31, 1983, Governor Cuomo signed an amendment to the New York Penal Law into effect. This amendment significantly increases the maximum prison term for multiple felony offenders. This amendment is primarily a provision, which stems from a retributivist theory of punishment. The intent of this amendment is twofold: first, to do justice by implementing a punishment more proportionate to the severity of the offender's crime(s) and second, to incapacitate the offender by his extended removal from society. Retribution has been an accepted rationale for imposing punishment and remains so today. Thus, the statute deserves prompt judicial recognition.

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