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Philosophy of Punishment - Essay Example

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Philosophy of punishment Name subject Professor Date Philosophy of Punishment Abstract The early philosophy for punishment was based on seeking revenge for the crime and ensures social cohesion by implementing such measures in the most subtle manner. However, with greater intentions of the legal and justice system to do more good to society and develop a society who understands the negative implications of crime, newer models have been proposed including retribution, deterrence and rehabilitation…
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Philosophy of Punishment
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Download file to see previous pages However, the concept of punishment as largely arisen from a retributive practice as a form of providing justification for the victim (Alexander 2012). A greater liberal justification of punishment is the sense of isolating and getting rid of all threats in the society so as to achieve social order and to ensure that criminal aggression is kept within control (Bedau 2010). The threatened punishments are deemed to be necessary as due process of law. In the modern day, punishment is defined as any form of pain, suffering, confinement or loss that has been imposed by auhtoruty on a person for an offense (the authority having the subject for the offense). However, the definition of punishment also needs to include the effects and incidents related to the punishment including exclusions to be made. Early man caused punishment to include destruction of those objects or people who harmed or threatened to harm society or property. In this paper, the broad philosophies of punishment would be considered along with the various models that are being used (Alexander 2012). Body The first model of punishment being considered is retribution. Retribution is a theory of justice that punishment should be appropriate or proportionate to the type and seriousness of the crime with the aim of achieving satisfaction and psychological benefits for the aggrieved party and the society in general. Often the saying goes ‘an eye for an eye’ and ‘a tooth for a tooth’, wherein the severity of the punishment should be based on the severity of the wrongdoing. According to Michael Davis, a philosopher, the amount of punishment as per retributive justice should be based on the amount of unfair advantage that has been gained by the wrongdoer. In proposing such a theory, he wanted greater reform in the reformative justice being done. Following the development of this theory, judges considered the mitigating factors for various crimes based on the situations existing (Bedau 2010). Vengeance or revenge is more of harmful form of action as a reaction to crime and a form of grievance and may be based on societal rules. Over time vengeance has evolved and today is being implemented with greater social cohesion. Death penalty is a form vengeance wherein some societies have it even for other crimes such as child rape. Many religions such as Christianity and Buddhism go against the concept of revenge. Vengeance may be considered as a form of retribution. However, in today’s justice system, punishment has gone much more beyond mere revenge with an intention of protecting society in general (Bright 1995). Deterrence considers that punishment is necessary for any crime and should often be based on the gravity of the crime, so that the crimes are avoided not only by the offender, but also by other potential offenders that may be present in society. There are 2 types of deterrence’s, namely general deterrence and specific deterrence. In general deterrence, specific events would help to prevent crimes in general, so that unintended behavior is removed from society. In specific deterrenc ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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