“General deterrence” means that if the public sees or hears of punishment that was rendered, the knowledge might deter other citizens from committing similar offenses (Levinson 2002). Both of these types of punishment should deter individuals from committing crimes. Jeremy Bentham believed that three aspects of punishment had an impact on deterrence: severity, celerity (speed) and certainty. In Bentham’s view, punishment was most effective when the level of severity fit the crime and that the punishment occurred
Critically evaluating the accuracy of this statement 'Punishment should be commensurate with the seriousness of the offence. The fundamental principle of desert in punishing convicted persons is that the severity of the punishment should be commensurate with the seriousness of the offender's criminal conduct. The focus of the commensurate deserts principle is on the gravity of past conduct, not on the possibility of impending behaviour this retrospective orientation distinguishes desert from the crime-control goals of dissuasion, incapacitation, and therapy. The criterion for judging if a penalty is deserved is whether it honestly reflects the severity of the criminal conduct of which the offender has been convicted, rather than its success in preventing impending crimes by the defendant or other potential offenders. The rationale of the principle may be stated as follows.
Feinburg (1994, cited in: Easton, 2012: 4) says that punishment is “a symbolic way of getting back at the criminal, of expressing a kind of vindictive resentment”. When punishing an offender there are two key principles that determine the kind of punishment. These are the Retributivism response and the Reductivist response. The first principle, Retributivism, focuses on punishing the offence using 'denunciation' where they denounce the crime that has been committed so society knows they have done wrong, and it also uses 'just deserts' where the equity 'eye for an eye' is the main idea. The second principle, Reductivism, believes that deterrence, incapacitation and rehabilitation is the best strategy to use to punish, its aim is to reduce crime and use punishment to serve a purpose.
According to Michael Wenzel, author of the article of “Retributive and Restorative Justice” explains the process of retributive justice by stating “according to this notion, an offender, having violated rules or laws, deserves to be punished and, for justice to be reestablished, has to be punished in proportion to the severity of the wrongdoing.”(Wenzel 349) Essentially what Wenzel is trying to entail us is that justice in this system is delivering punishment to the offender based on the crime that they have committed. For example the punishment that a person who commits mass murder deserves a harsher sentence then someone who either just robbed or killed one person. We cannot have the same equality of punishments exist if the crimes are different. Restorative justice which we will discuss later on is the opposite of
Also, punishing people is equivalent to using them as a means and not an end, a violation of human dignity. Therefore, deontologists justify punishment by looking at it as a necessary act. We must punish criminals for their wrongdoings in the name of justice. If good consequences come out of it, that is just an added bonus. Arguably the most important aspect for punishing criminals in the eye of a deontologist is that the punishment must be proportionate to the crime.
Moralistic retributivism is concerned with the wrongdoing itself; if pain and grief have occurred, the criminal should be compensated with an equal punishment to the crime. Convicted felons must be punished and suffer to the full extent of their crime. It is morally fitting that a person who does wrong should suffer in proportion to their wrongdoing. Society must inflict as much pain and suffering on convicted criminals as was inflicted during the commission of their crime(s). b) The Utilitarian: A moral theory according to which an action is right if and only if it conforms to the principle of utility.
Deterrence suggests that people are “deterred” from a crime by the threat of punishment. In other words, people won’t commit a crime if the ramifications that were to follow are so severe. Deterrence comes in two flavors, specific and general. Specific deterrence refers to the “threat of punishment” being directly aimed towards a particular individual who has already committed the crime through actually experiencing the punishment first hand. An example of this may be, being convicted of a crime and as a result being sentenced to so many years in jail or prison.
As Joe Arpuio states “getting tough on crime,” the tougher retributive punishments are, may again deter crime. Deterrence- Deterrence is the intention to prevent future crimes from taking place, becoming split into two specific types of deterrence, general and specific. General deterrence is “actions that take place to persuade other persons from committing criminal acts” (Couture, 2014, p. 128). While specific deterrence is “punishments aimed at stopping... ... middle of paper ... ...ause it deals with society as a whole. Yes, general deterrence may use certain individuals as an example for society, but if the punishment for that certain individual is strict enough and is able to deter others from society from committing crime it is doing its job.
The main aim of punishment is to demonstrate to the public, the victim and the offender that justice is to be done, to reduce criminal activities and to deter people from wanting to commit any form of crime against the law. In other words it is a tool used to eliminate the bad in society or to deter people from committing criminal activities. Theories of punishment indicates that criminals and lawbreakers are pr... ... middle of paper ... ... Miethe, T., Lu, H. (2005), Punishment: A comparative historical perspective. Cambridge University Press Reid, S., (2000). Crime and Criminology, 9th edition.
To the utilitarian the answer is simple - punishment must be witnessed in order to deter others from committing the same act. Thus, to a utilitarian the perception of punishment is seen as the main, or even the sole, justification for punishment. Of course, if the wrongdoer is sent to prison for any length of time he is incapacitated, and thus excluded from doing further harm. Further, while being punished there may be at least the hope that the wrongdoer repents and reforms. Both these consequences are compatible with utilitarian principles as they both serve to reduce the harm caused by anti-social behaviour.