I recently remembered a short story I had read a while ago in a sci-fi compilation. I tried to identify it, but my Google-fu is not up to the task. Google, however, directed me here. So, I hope someone will be able to help me by identifying the title and author.
The premise of the story is that the future human society modified the legal system to allow you to pay for your crimes in advance. In order to be allowed to commit a murder – I think his target had to do with business/scientific betrayal – the protagonist spends a number of years on a hellish planet with an incredibly hostile environment.
He survives his "punishment" and gets back to Earth with the "license" is his pocket. Most of the story deals with how his interactions with the people he knew are – surprising for him – heavily affected by the fact that he is able to commit a murder without additional repercussions.
Can anyone point to the author/title? I think the author was English/American, possibly one of the more famous authors.