Deriving from the notions of retribute or to receive in recompense and the Christian sense of deserved, adequate or fit, the term retribution is now used exclusively to refer to punishment. Retribution is punishment deserved because of an offence and which fits the severity of the offence. Retribution must be distinguished from revenge and retaliation.
Punishment or retribution here, is justified because it makes the offender give up money, personal freedom or comfort that is equivalent to the harm or loss done to others.
Retribution and Revenge -
NEIL VIDMAR, Duke University - School of Law
Empirical evidence indicates that retribution is important in other matters related to law. Retributive motives can appear at the core of intractable business disputes and other commercial disagreements. Medical malpractice, discrimination, and a panoply of civil lawsuits can be primarily fueled by a desire for retribution.
Reduction and the Justification of Punishment