There are many explanations for what punishment characterises. For Emile Durkheim, punishment was mainly an expression of social solidarity and not a form of crime control. Here, the offender attacks the social moral order by committing a crime and therefore, has to be punished, to show that this moral order still "works". Durkheim's theory suggests that punishment must be visible to everyone, and so expresses the outrage of all members of society against the challenge to their collective values. The form of punishment changes between mechanic (torture, execution) and organic (prison) solidarity because the values of society change but the idea behind punishing, the essence, stays the same - keeping the moral order intact not decreasing crime.
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. “General deterrence are actions to persuade others from committing criminal acts” (Couture, 2014, p.128). I feel more people are being deterred from crime by general deterrence rather than specific deterrence. Also as sanctions take place, incarceration would be best for general deterrence. Incarceration in jail or prison should deter society from committing crimes by people in society not wanting to be incarcerated.
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.
“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
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.
Although Ven Den Haag agrees that capital punishment is one of the harshest penalties, it should nevertheless be used. Ven Den Haag believes that a murderer should take responsibility for their actions, and they should have no mercy. In the short essay “Capital Punishment” by Amsterdam, he states that capital punishment is a brutal way of punishing a convict. Amsterdam makes a comparison to war, “Some evils, like war, are occasionally necessary, and perhaps capital punishment is one of them.” (pg. 325) Amsterdam implies that even though something “evil” was done, people should not be legally killed because of their actions.
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.
The theory of deterrence aims to prevent offenders from repeating the crime that they have been convicted of. Sanctions wit... ... middle of paper ... ...e and proportionate to the seriousness of the offence that has been committed. That each case should be judged on the individual aggravating and mitigating factors associated with the offence and on the other individual details of the offence. The circumstances of the offender and the harm caused to the victim of the offence or to the community should have an impact on the severity of the punishment that the offender will receive. It is therefore accurate to say that punishment should be commensurate with the seriousness of the crime.
Revenge is still the most common motive for the use of punishment, especially as a response to the most brutal and senseless crimes. But the revenge motive, of course, is usually left on the curb a long way from the courthouse. The justification used in the courthouse is deterrence. Deterrence is the notion that the threat of punishment will prevent criminal activity. It presumes that individuals act rationally in their own interests and therefore will seek to escape the pain that punishment brings.
What is the ideal purpose of punishing criminals, how do we know when punishment has been adequately served, what would be an appropriate, morally justifiable punishment for Raskolnikov, and why? Elbert Hubbard said, "We are punished by our sins, not for them." Prince Machiavelli created the Machiavellian code where he stated the "Eye for an eye" principle. What is the purpose of punishment? Why does human kind feel it necessary to punish wrong-doers?