Why We Punish & Different Ways Criminals are Punished Why does the criminal justice system of America punish criminals? The answer lies in the words “justice.” The term justice can be interpreted in many ways. Criminals are punished to: make people abide the laws of their country and state, put an end to illegal activity that could be harmful to themselves or the community, protect the public from evil, prevent crime from rising in certain areas. These are just some of the reasons why criminals are punished. There are also different approaches to punishing criminals such as: sentences that fit the crime, community service, the death penalty, and rehabilitation.
Crime cuts across many disciplines such as sociology, psychology and criminology. Each of these disciplines try to explain why crime is committed and how people are compelled to commit crime, a good example is sociology. Sociology attributes crime due to poor socialization in society, while psychology attributes crime mainly due to biological and Pathological criminogenic behaviors. Many scholars have tried to define crime and each has given many reasons why crime is committed. Scholars such Cesare Lombroso attribute crime to biological anomalies while scholars like Edwin Sutherland claim that criminal behavior is learned.
It views that there exist certain moral principles applying to all people everywhere, recognized and used in guiding people’s conduct and in judging the conduct of others. In determining the type of capital punishment to be given to a murderer, the absolutist position would be that the punishment chosen apply to all cultures and not change. Ethical pluralism is another way to apply ethics in criminal justice. It argues that in most situations there are many truths rather than a single truth. Hinman (1998) contends that ethical pluralism allows us to adopt the principles of understanding, tolerance, standing up and of fallibility in self to resolve conflicts between differing ethical
The purpose of law is that it is to maintain public order and social order in the country to ensure peace and security and to provide protection for people’s right such as life, liberty and property. Law can be distinguished between criminal and civil law. The criminal law is also known as public law which is designed to enforce or prevent certain types of behavior which can cause harm to society and to punish the offenders. If a person is charged for an offence under the criminal law, the state will intervene to prosecute the offender. If the person is found guilty of a crime, he will be punished by the state.
In Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky challenges the concept of crime. Through Raskolnikov’s ability to rationalize murder and evil, Dostoevsky challenges the concept of what a crime is. By depicting Raskolnikov in a way that he rationalizes his acts, it can be understood that the concept of crime is dependent on the situation and the outcome. With this, one can question whether crime will remain as a crime even if it results in the benefit of the majority of the population. In this paper, I will be arguing the concept of what crime is through the situations and the outcomes shown in Crime and Punishment, with the help of true to life crimes.
Depending on the outcome of the procedures, the population of a country are encouraged to participate is either criminal or noncriminal activities depending on the outcome of these trials. In this case, Timothy and his friends were taken away from the community for the safety and preference f the many after breaking the laws of the United States. Moreover, the theory of criminal justice states that sinners and lawbreakers should be punished according to which was the case of the Oklahoma bombing. After breaking capital offense of first-degree murder, Timothy was punished by being sentenced to death. His friends Michael and Terry were sentenced to imprisonment after withholding information which would have saved the lives of the deceased.
The deterrence theory of punishment justifies punishment as a necessary measure to prevent people from committing crimes. It deters previous offenders and those who have not committed a crime and are contemplating committing crimes. The punishment should be sufficient so that people choose not to commit the crime rather than being punished. Laws are intended to maximise happiness in the society. However, because crime and punishment are inconsistent with happiness, they should be kept to a minimum.
On a basic level, a punishment for a crime is supposed to elicit feelings of guilt for the criminal for they have done something society has deemed wrong. For Durkheim, these passionate feelings go beyond just the criminal, but extend to all members of society no matter what relation they have, if any, with the criminal. People, for the most part, will feel anger towards the criminal in mechanical solidarity because the criminal has violated the shared beliefs of the people. From this passion, the punishment becomes vindication for societies that practice mechanical solidarity. Durkheim states that punishment is “an act of vengeance, since it is an expiation.
Criminology is the wider area that is used to evaluate the context of crime. The scientific study of criminals and crime is used for evaluating the basis and reasons of crime done by people. It makes use of different theories and school of thought in order to analyse the reasons behind criminal activities. The main purpose of this paper is to consider one criminology theory or school of thought. The criminology theory that is used for analysing the requirements of this paper is rational choice theory.
These elements are crucial for the functioning of the law for these are the yardsticks by which criminality may be measured. First, the mens rea or mental element required for genocide is dolus specialis, i.e. special intention to ‘destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group’. For the prosecution of a person for genocide it must thence be established that s/he had the special intention to take part in the crime of genocide. Regardless, the volitional element of the dolus specialis appears less prominent in the Tribunals’ case law than the cognitive component of genocidal intent.