A criminal conviction can trigger numerous burdensome legal consequences beyond the formal sentence. Some charge that these “collateral” legal consequences (CLCs) constitute additional measures of punishment, which raises the further question of whether judges should consider these CLCs when making sentencing decisions, reducing the formal sentence in proportion to the severity of the CLCs the defendant will face. The idea that all CLCs constitute forms of punishment reflects a particular conception of punishment, which I call the “minimalist view.” In this paper, I argue against the minimalist view. I contend that on a more adequate conception of punishment, some but not all CLCs constitute punishment. I also argue that whether judges should consider CLCs in sentencing decisions depends on whether the relevant CLCs constitute punishment.

You do not currently have access to this content.