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Cesaer Beccaria & Classical Theories of Crime and Punishment - Research Paper Example

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Cesaer Beccaria & Classical Theories of Crime and Punishment Introduction Cesaer Baccaria, an Italian politician and philosopher, is very well known for his crimes and punishment treatise that condemned capital punishment and torture. In 1964, Beccaria, (1764) published a just and brief treatise that addressed crime and punishment…
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Cesaer Beccaria & Classical Theories of Crime and Punishment
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Download file to see previous pages Crime is any action that violates basic believes and values of a society. These beliefs are values are the laws that the society observes, in maintaining peace and order. A person who violates these laws has to face its consequences and this is referred to as punishment. Crime and punishment classical theories are based on the philosophy of utilitarian. Cesare Beccaria was a classical school philosopher who argued that people are free to decide on how to act, and secondly, human beings are hedonists, who look for pleasure while avoiding pain and the weight of benefits and costs of the actions consequences. This theory, however, ignores motivational factors’ possibility like unconscious drives and irrationality of individuals. The theory states that: punishment of sufficient severity is the only way of stopping people from committing crime because its costs are more than the benefits. However, punishment severity should be proportional to the crime. The more certain and swift the punishment is, the more effective it’s likely to be in preventing behaviors of crime. However, his views contrast and compare to the contemporary theory of Rational Choice Theory. Classical Theories The theory states that individuals freely choose their own actions and that avoiding such acts is only possible if the benefits that the individual expects are less than the costs, for example facing severe punishment. Therefore, the assumptions of classical theory are; all people are by nature self seeking, and hence are responsible to committing crimes. An agreement to protect private property power among others, and people deliberately enter into social agreements with the government in order to maintain peace, law is only a sign of moral agreement coherence as all people are rational and finally, every individual is responsible for his own actions. The theory also states that the behavior of law breaking is as a result of irrational actions of some people, who because of their shortcomings are unable to uphold an agreement with their nation or state. According to the classical theory of crime, people who disobey the law are punished in order to stop them from destructing other peoples’ rights, and this gives the government a choice to punish them and implement the penalty, since the society is independently established by people. Furthermore, the theory says that penalties must equal the interest that the crime violates and concentration should be centered on the act (Beccaria, 1764). The classical theory argues that laws should be few and execution settled down on time. Penalty should also aim at compensating valuable activity and reprimanding destructive activities. According to these theories, a penalty application should not fail when based on the committed crime and excusive cases or moderating conditions should not exist. Betham observes that anything done should aim at providing the greatest happiness to as many people as possible. Furthermore, he says that penalty strictness was so high, to give rise to death punishment. Theory Policies Beccaria appealed for reasoning principle where he called for state understanding as a kind of contract, and utility principle, above all, as of the biggest happiness for the biggest number. He openly condemned penalty of death on two grounds: first, he argued that the state has no right to take away lives and secondly, he said that capital punishment is not a useful form of punishment. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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