Retributive Theory Of Crime And Punishment

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INTRODUCTION

Crime and punishment grip the public imagination. The media regularly bombards us with the latest news on crime statistics while our air waves are saturated by pundits debating how crimes should be punished. Moreover, crime and punishment affect us. Today, approximately seven million Americans are either in prison or on probation or parole. Nearly 60 million Americans have criminal record. This is almost 30 percent of the U.S adult population. It is then, easy to understand the increasing importance of crime and punishment to citizens and politicians alike. Some have even suggested that the penal system is in a state of crisis.
The question of this paper is that ‘how should we punish crimes and different theories of punishment-
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Retributivists claim that criminals deserve punishment in proportion to their crime. Retributivists give desert a central place but only to a latter sense of desert as a demerit, or what we might call retributivist desert. Someone is thought to have desert not merely on the account of his committing a wrongful act, but on the account of his committing illegal act. There are many actions that are wrong, but not punishable because they are not illegal act. Retributivism punishes criminals for the wrongful act they performed; retributivism is backward looking. We do not punish a criminal for what they will do tomorrow, but for what they have already done. Retributivist finds consequences irrelevant. Retributivist want to know what someone deserves by looking back the act one has…show more content…
PREVENTIVE THEORY
Preventive philosophy of punishment is based on the preposition ‘not to avenge crime but to prevent crime’. It presupposes that need of punishment of crime arises simply out of social necessities. In punishing a criminal the community protects itself against anti- social act which endanger social order in general or person or property of its members. The real object of the penal law therefore, is to make the threat generally known rather than putting it occasionally into execution.
It suggests that prisonisation is the best mode of crime prevention as it seeks to eliminate offenders from society thus disabling them for repeating crime. The supporters of preventive philosophy recognize imprisonment as the best mode of punishments because it serves as an effective, deterrent and useful preventive measure. It pre-supposes some kind of physical restraint on offenders. According to supporters of this theory, murderers are hanged not merely to deter others from meeting similar end, but to eliminate such dreadful offenders from
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