Cesare Bonesana-Beccaria, Marquis of Gualdrasco and Villareggio (Italian: [ˈtʃeːzare bekkaˈriːa]; 15 March 1738 – 28 November 1794) was an Italian criminologist, jurist, philosopher, and politician, who is widely considered as the most talented jurist and one of the greatest thinkers of the Age of Enlightenment. Recognised to be one of the fathers of classical criminal theory and modern penology, he is well remembered for his treatise On Crimes and Punishments (1764), which condemned torture and the death penalty, and was a founding work in the field of penology and the Classical School of criminology by promoting criminal justice. According to John Bessler, Beccaria's works had a profound influence on the Founding Fathers of the United States.

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