It also depends on what we mean by “retribution”, as you noted.
There are plenty of scriptural examples (mostly OT as it happens but also a few in the NT) about God bringing rebels back into tribute to Him: that’s the classical notion of re-tribution which has been very much changed by the inculcation of Roman law as a means of explaining theology. (Thanks ever so much, Augustine… )
Is that gracious of God? Compared to the alternatives, and depending on His intentions (as Satan could re-tribute people, too, bringing them back into loyalty to himself), sure!
On the other hand, if we’re talking about repayment, the archetypal statement of retribution in the OT from which every other citation seems to be drawing is the Psalm 62:11-12 and the stunning revelation about the true nature of God’s recompense:
"One thing God has spoken
"These two things I heard:
"Power belongs to God
"And mercy/lovingkindness is Yours O Lord;
“For You repay a man according to his work.”
I have never once heard an explanation of hopeless punishment (or hopeless damnation if not exactly punishment from God) that didn’t split the one thing God had spoken into two distinct things. Mercy over here, and power over there; and if mercy may not fail, then power somehow does; or if power does not fail, then mercy either fails or never was given.
But David heard one thing that involved two things, as being therefore at bottom the same: power and love.
(Even Lewis, who should of all people known better, and who was certainly taught better by MacDonald, ultimately schisms God’s power and mercy.)
God always, even with power, even in punishment, repays every man, even the worst of sinners, with mercy and lovingkindness.