Essay On Harsh Punishment

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There is a worldwide trend in the use of penal imprisonment for serious offenses as capital punishment has been renounced by an increasing number of countries. Harsh punishments include capital punishment, life imprisonment and long-term incarceration. These forms of punishments are usually used against serious crimes that are seen as unethical, such as murder, assault and robbery. Many people believe that harsher punishments are more effective as they deter would-be criminals and ensure justice is served. Opposition towards harsh punishments have argued that harsher punishments does not necessarily increase effectiveness because they do not have a deterrent effect, do not decrease recidivism rates and do not provide rehabilitation. In addition,…show more content…
In the case of the death penalty, it has the added bonus in guaranteeing that the person would not offend again. Supporters of harsh punishments argue that the would-be criminal would consider the costs versus the benefits of committing a crime. If the costs outweigh the benefits, then it is assumed that he would stop what he is doing, effectively ‘deterred’. Furthermore, the usage of harsh punishments to effectively deter crime is ethically justified as it prevents more people from falling victim to crime. However it is extremely difficult to judge a punishment’s effectiveness based on its deterrence effect, consequently we must consider other variables that would entail a person to commit a crime. Motivation is a key factor; many criminals are motivated by desires, rage and desperation. It is very possible that criminals are not thinking rationally when committing a crime. In other words, the severity of a punishment is largely irrelevant when criminals are not thinking clearly at the time, the very fact that they committed the crime in the first place is already evident that they never considered the consequences. Therefore, it is untrue that harsher punishments are more
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