Retribution Theory Of Punishment

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Punishment is an essential part of criminal justice system to impose sentences toward the offenders. Before the discussion, the definition of punishment should be mentioned. Cardozo (2000) stated H. L. A. Hart’s identification of punishment in his book as suggesting that the painful and unpleasant feeling of punishment must be involved and imposed to actual or supposed offenders who violated the law. Moreover, punishment must be governed and imposed by an authority constitution and intentionally administrated by human beings. Although society generally agrees that punishment should be imposed to the people who violated the law, the purpose of punishment is still diverse as different approaches have their own believes in the nature, rationale and justification of punishment. Therefore, it is worth to discuss the right of society to impose punishment on the offenders. In order to discuss critically, the perspectives of retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation and restoration towards punishment would be discussed respectively to generate a clearer picture of the right of society.

Retribution is the only theory that looking backward as concerns about the offence that offenders committed. Retribution theory is a long existed approach since Biblical times as implied as the concept of ‘lex talionis’, meaning the idea of ‘an eye for an eye’ (Bank, 2011: 109). In Bank’s discussion (2011: 109), the retributionists believe that, once the law and rule set up, it
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