Satisfactory Essays
Punishment can be defined as “the imposition of hardship in response to misconduct” with regards to the criminal justice system. There are five possible purposes to the punishment of criminals: incapacitation, deterrence, restitution, retribution and rehabilitation. The idea of incapacitation is that it gets criminals off the streets and protects society. By physically removing the offender from the community, it would prevent him or her from committing future crimes against the public while serving a sentence. The deterrence approach deters people from engaging in illegal acts through threats of punishment. If the criminal justice system increases the severity of the punishment, there would be a reduction in the crime rate. Restitution is a form of punishment by which the payment of the offender to the victim for the harm caused by the offender’s wrongful acts. Retribution involves the idea of “let the punishment fit the crime” and advocates that since the felon harmed society, society is entitled to inflict harm in return. The rehabilitation punishment approach intends to reform a convict that he or she can lead a productive life free from crime.
Kant’s theory is an example of deontological moral theory in which the rightness or wrongness of an action does not depend on the consequences but whether or not it fulfills duty. The moral worth of an action is determined by its motive, or reason behind the action. Kant’s categorical imperative, a rule that is true in all circumstances and basis of all other rules, comes in two versions: principle of universality and kingdom of ends. The principle of universality is defined as “acting only according to the maxim by which a person can at the same time will that it should become a un...

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...nces of an action, believe that these benefits cannot be achieved with less suffering or at a lower cost to those who are being punished. They want to prevent offenders from doing further harm and believe that is it not morally right to punish criminals in order to give them what they deserve. Punishment is only justified if it promotes the general happiness according to utilitarian’s. As well, utilitarian’s would promote rehabilitation as a goal for punishment to reform and educate offenders to make them into more productive members of society. Utilitarianism would believe that retribution as an unethical form of punishment because it does not produce any consequence with no benefit in mind. The main problem that utilitarian’s have with retribution is that even though the offender is suffering from the punishment, but without any compensating benefit in happiness.
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