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Corporal Punishment in the Judicial System: Physical Abuse or Discipline - Research Paper Example

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Corporal punishment in the judicial system: Physical abuse or discipline? Corporal punishment is a kind of physical punishment that is inflicted on a criminal on order by the court of law. It is used for the purpose of inflicting pain on the body as retribution for his criminal activities…
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Corporal Punishment in the Judicial System: Physical Abuse or Discipline
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Download file to see previous pages In case of corporal punishment, severe pain is deliberately caused with actions like whipping or flogging. In former times, corporal punishment fell under the jurisdiction of capital punishment, although in modern times law requires that a prisoner must not be subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering through torture during execution (Paul, 2004, p.1). This paper focuses on the debate surrounding the issue of judicial corporal punishment as to whether it is a form of physical abuse or a way to instill discipline in the minds of criminals and finally concludes against corporal punishment in USA. Corporal punishment in various countries Saudi Arabia In the backward and repressive country like Saudi Arabia, corporal punishment is a routine order given by lower courts to be applied on criminals. The flogging includes hundreds and often thousands of lashes which are inflicted on the body of the criminal in installments. The court can order flogging on both men and women. Although, in general cases the flogging is executed without involving the press as witness, still occasionally flogging is done in full public view. In Saudi Arabia, the prisoner also faces a term of imprisonment even after corporal punishment. This country is known for disregarding the rule of law, and as such there are no formal instructions on the procedure of flogging. Generally a whip, leather strap or long cane is used for whipping on the buttocks. Unlike many other countries, the prisoner keeps all his clothes on at the time of flogging (Farrell, n.d.). In Saudi Arabia, there is absolute freedom on the practice of corporal punishment even on foreigners who break the local law. The native country of the foreigner will have no right to place formal complaint because it will indicate that Saudi Arabia has broken the international law and that does not happen in this case. There was a time that the severity of corporal punishment on foreigners was a ground of complaint by the native country, but this reason is not valid in modern times (James, 1986, p.55). South Africa The judicial corporal punishment is widely used in South Africa. Under the British colonial administration, corporal punishment was used for grave criminal activities. In the 1950s and 1960s, it became a compulsory kind of punishment to be imposed on adult men who were involved in various kinds of crimes. It was also used in a milder form on male criminals who were under the age of 21. One interesting fact that can be observed is that during the harsh and authoritarian regime in the apartheid era, the judicial law hesitated to impose corporal punishment on criminals and the law was amended in many occasions. In South Africa there were characteristic differences between corporal punishment on adults and on juveniles. One difference was the size of canes used on adults and juveniles. In case of juveniles, corporal punishment was almost an everyday affair and was executed on the day it was ordered by the police. It was not followed by imprisonment as it was used to keep the young offenders out of prison (Farrell, n.d.). During the post-apartheid period in South Africa, there were many movements to prohibit corporal punishment on children. In 2007, all kinds of corporal punishment were completely prohibited even in home and in schools. During the declaration of corporal punishment on children as unconstitutional, the leading judge made a statement that juvenile whipping is “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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