To argue that capital punishment is justified, one must initially state the possible objectives of the policy of capital punishment: revenge, retribution, general deterrence and specific deterrence. Some objectives of punishment--for instance, rehabilitation--do not apply. However, out of all those that do apply, one of them has the most benefit to the society: general deterrence. Specific deterrence means simply preventing the particular criminal from commiting more crimes. The death penalty achieves this objective, but more impressive is how it deters future crime by other criminals.
“The major integrated theories of crime including multifactor theories, latent traits theories, and life-course theories or what are known as ‘developmental theories.’ Multifactor theories suggest that social, personal, and economic factors exert influence on criminal behaviour. Integrated theories have become popular; given the move away from the assumption that the world can be divided into criminals and non-criminals, hence the value of multi-factor theories and how practical it has become with computer tools to assist in the process. Latent trait theories assume that a number of people in the population have a personal attribute or characteristic that controls their inclination or propensity to commit crimes. This disposition or latent
Fourth, When criminal behavior is learned, the learning includes (a) techniques of committing the crime, which is sometimes very complicated, sometimes simple; (b) the specific direction of motives, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes. Fifth, the specific direction of motives and drives is learned from definitions of the legal codes as favorable or unfavorable. Sixth, a person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violation of law over definitions unfavorable to violation of the law. Seventh, Differential associations may vary in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity. Eighth, the process of learning criminal behavior by association with criminal and anti-criminal patterns involves all of the mechanisms that are involved in any other learning.
Differential Association Edwin Sutherland Theory proports that through interaction with others individuals learn values, attitudes, techniques, motives for criminal behaviour. Two different cultures exist, with one being criminal and the other conventional. Normal learning occurs through verbal and non verbal communication that helps to establish whether attitudes of individuals is favorable to law violation through normal learning processes by individuals who are disposed towards breaking the law. They develop motivation for engaging in criminal activity and attitudes that drives them to deviate. Different cycles of criminality can also influence their lives where criminal behavior occurs with intimate interactions through socialization.
Learning also occurs through the observation of reactions and punishments. Social learning theory combines cognitive learning theory and behavioral learning theory. Social learning theory contributes many other theories. Most crimes come from people who was influenced by their peers who also do crimes. Crimes are illegal acts against the law.
No review of the economics of crime is complete without mention of the seminal paper by Becker (1968). In Becker (1968), the author outlines an optimal choice model for crime that assumes criminals are rational actors like everyone else. Perhaps more important than the model itself are its implications. From Becker (1968), we may conclude that fines are more efficient than prison time but that fines may also distort the margins of criminal choice. Furthermore, Becker (1968) argues that a low probability of punishment in combination with very severe penalties is the best way to minimize diseconomies associated with crime.
According to him, an offender’s thought process revolves around the opportunity to earn money and this opportunity shapes when and where or if they will even commit a crime. Two theorist Derek Cornish and Ronald Clarke added to the Rational Choice Theory to include the decision make process of offenders which are: preparing to commit a crime, selecting a target, committing the crime, escaping, and the aftermath. This process explains that crime is situational and there are more factors other than money that impact the decision making
In the theory of reintegrative shaming, Brathwaite (1989) explained why some societies have higher crime rate than others, why certain people or certain groups of people are more likely to commit a crime, and how the community can effectively deal with the crime in order to prevent future crimes. Brathwaite theory of reintegrative shaming is heavily influence by the work of early theoretical theories including labelling, subcultural, control, opportunity, and learning theories (Braithwaite, 1989). Brathwaite (1989) supported control theory argument that individual are naturally drawn to commit criminal acts for the purpose of personal gain. Brathwaite argued that individuals who are integrated into the community and are involved in a committed relationship are less likely to commit a crime. In contrast, individuals who are not integrated into the community or proactively involved with others are more likely to commit a crime because they do not feel a sense of responsibility to those around them, and they are not constrained by feelings of shame.
The next key factor of the chapter is the social process theory. This theory considers the social connections and they situations this juvenile may face because of these connections (p. 125). This theory is broken down into the learning theory and the social control theory. The learning theory holds the assumption that delinquents commit crime because they learn from others around them. They find ways to defend themselves because of the acts of others (p. 125).
It also accentuates the importance for the justice system of protecting and serving the public through crime reduction. Crime control 'values' include the notion that that those thought to be guilty may be pursued regardless of the rules that may be in place for protecting the rights of suspects. The conviction of the innocent is accepted because the ultimate goal of convicting the guilty overrides civil liberties. The crime control model is considered to be a conservative approach to crime that focuses on protecting society from criminals by regulating criminal conduct and justice. Moreover, this model stresses strict and swift punishment for crimes; in return, this strict adherence benefits society by striking fear in criminals because they will be harshly punished.