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
Some allege that deterrence works only for rational criminals, who are capable of weighing up the benefits and costs of committing a capital crime. However, irrational criminals, such as those who cannot engage in higher level reasoning or have nothing to lose, would remain unaffected. Imagine a serial killer. He might not be rational and so could kill without concern for being executed. In this case, there is no deterrent effect.
A theory is merely an explanation for life’s occurrences. They can be extensive, looping through idea after idea, or simply require a few sentences. Either way, theories are the starting point to the question, “Why?” In regards to criminology, we base our codes of law and by extension, our behavior, on these theories. One of the most prominent of which is the deterrence theory. I will go in depth on the concept and creation of the deterrence theory before applying it to Ted Bundy, one of the most prominent serial killers that America has ever seen.
Rational Choice Theory, in layman terms sees people as maximizers of self-interest who engage in a cost-benefit calculation to achieve a better outcome over a worse one (Lim, 78). The self-interest of an individual is subject to change, based on the surrounding conditions. This is further explained by the assumption that rationality can be institutionally, culturally or socially defined (Lim, 82). Hence, it can be said that rational choice theory takes into account the effect of the environment on the decision making capability of an individual. This is also referred to as the ‘’thick variant’’ of rationality and using this variant enables this theory to be applied on both micro and meso-levels.
First, deterrence can be used to prevent an international actor from pursuing a particular course of action by threatening significant harm if/when said actor follows through with an undesirable military course of action. Another critical assumption is that the actor(s) attempting to deter another could survive long enough in a war to inflict intolerable damage on the aggressor. Perhaps the most critical assumption to nuclear deterrence theory rests on the notion that both actors involved in this exchange are rational and thus capable of engaging cost-benefit analysis (Morgan 79-80). Even
Policing policies including broken windows and zero-tolerance policy have different limitations on what can be stopped. The broken windows theory gave police a wide discretion when stopping citizens. During the time when broken windows was implemented, citizens were able to get away with low-level crimes. Once zero-tolerance began, the officers became more strict in stopping citizens which would make them feel targeted for the wrong reasons, like the color of their skin. The zero-tolerance policy was implemented to update the police’s discretion of what to stop and to keep crime down.
Crime has been defined in general as an act or omission that has been forbidden by law and is usually associated with a sanction. John Stuart Mill, in his Harm Principle stated that an act should be criminalised based on the harm it has inflicted on other people. The State is justified in criminalising acts that crates unjustifiable and serious risks to others. A victimless crime is when a particular act does not have any victim or when the only person who is affected is the person committing it or when the person who will be classified as a victim has consented to such an act. As there is no clear victim in this case the principle of harm will not be applicable here and would not be considered as an act that can be criminalised.
The second type, general deterrence focuses more on potential offenders. General deterrence is an attempt to influence future offenders in a positive manner. This type of deterrence is all about prevention. Police deter crime by reinforcing the fact that they will catch you and you will be punished for whatever crime that you
Because criminal laws are designed to protect the social fabric, the defendant must answer not just to the individual victim, but to the whole polity through its criminal courts." (Siegle & Bartollas 2014 pgs 6 & 7) As I read this weeks assignment, more specifically, about general deterrence and specific deterrence and how the belief that "crime does not pay" applies to both of these. General deterrence is when a offender is punished so greatly that it sends a message throughout a community that committing that crime simply is not worth the punishment. (Siegle & Bartollas 2014 pg 7) Specific deterrence "focuses on the fact that the individual offenders should learn first hand that crime does not pay when they experience harsh criminal penalties." (Siegle & Bartollas 2014 pg 8) I do agree that crime does not pay.
After they understand the consequences for them if they commit the crime, they would not dare to commit crimes again. The second type of deterrence is general deterrence if aims to discourage the public from committing the crime by showing them the consequences of those who committed the crimes already. By doing so, the public would fear about the punishment (death penalty). COST