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Criminal Punishment in American Society - Essay Example

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Summary to essay on topic "Criminal Punishment in American Society"
Criminal punishment is the act of inflicting pain or an unpleasant experience to someone who has broken the laws laid down by the government or the society. The mode of punishment varies from society to another and from one offence to the other. Usually, the actions that are deemed to be more serious as far as violation of the law is concerned are punished heavily…
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Download file "Criminal Punishment in American Society" to see previous pages... Other societies, mostly the dictatorial ones, do not take the criminal to the court. The criminal is punished arbitrarily.
A prisoner, or the criminal, has his rights that are protected under the constitution. These rights should not be taken away from him, regardless of the fact that he has broken a law.
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The constitution of America has undergone many amendments since its inception. The first ten amendments that took place are referred to as the bill of rights (Todd et al 67). Contained within these ten amendments are the rights that should be enjoyed by a prisoner (Todd et al 67). These amendments took pace at the same time. They were put forward on September twenty fifth, 1789 (Todd et al 67). In their book "American Corrections", Todd et al identify two amendments that relates to the right of the prisoner and his relationship with the correctional institution.
The eighth amendment is such one amendment that the book talks about. The amendment was carried out in the year 1791. It covers cruel and unusual punishments meted out to the prisoner. It says, in part ".excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted" (Todd et al, 2000).
This amendment still inf...
This amendment still influences the relationship between the prisoner and the correctional institution. The institution holding the prisoner should not treat him using inhuman techniques like electric shocks, lashing or food rationing. The courts should not issue an excessive punishment to the prisoner. The punishment should be in line with the crime committed. For example, a prisoner cannot be issued with a death sentence for pick pocketing.
Unusual punishments should not be meted out to the prisoner by the incarcerating institution. Some authorities have been known to sexually abuse and harass the inmates. For instance, the united states have been accused of castrating prisoners taken in the Iraq war. Inhumane acts have been committed to terrorist suspects in the now defunct gutaenamo bay prison. It thus altered how the prisoners related with the correctional institutions. They are respected and treated as human beings not like animals. The prisoners are not given punishments like hard labor. As a result of this amendment, living conditions in the holding institutions are periodically checked to ensure that the prisoner is not under any threat as far as his human rights are concerned.

The Fourteenth Amendment and Right S of the Prisoner
Another amendment that touches on the rights of the prisoner as identified in this book is amendment number 14. It states in part that ".no state shall deprive any citizen of life, liberty or property.without due process of the law" (Todd et al, 2000). What this means is that a prisoner who is a citizen of the country should be taken to court before he is punished. The due process been referred to means alignment in court and sentencing by the court. The prison should not incarcerate an inmate, ...Download file "Criminal Punishment in American Society" to see next pagesRead More
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