Outline and Evaluate the Key Justifications of Punishment in Modern Societies

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The philosopher Hegel stated people are punished not only to acknowledge them as human beings ,by punishing people, pain is inflicted for a wrong deed in much the same way that good behaviour is rewarded. Dating as far back as the 18th and 19th century punishment has always been seen as an act of inflicting pain upon offenders on account of a crime committed. Punishment during that ranged from public standing in the pillory, to branding, whipping and burning and in most cases death by hanging. This sort of public shame was done in an effort to deter the offender from committing any future crimes as well as sending out a message across society that crime was not tolerated. With the passage of time into modern society punishment is seen as having evolved. Not only is the main aim to make offenders pay for their past behaviour but it now focuses its attention on the offenders present or future behaviour. This will be outlined more clearly in the following main theories of Justifications of Retribution and Prevention. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and a life for a life’ such are the phrases used to explain The Retribution Theory approach.( Exodus 21 23-5,Newburn 2007,p22).The approach is based on the fact that punishment such as Imprisonment had to be in proportion to the crime and no more than that. Cesare Beccaria a classical criminal theorist and author “On crimes and Punishment” who like all classical theorists supported the Rational Choice Theory that all individuals have freewill “At the heart of the classical school of criminological thought is the assumption that the criminal is someone exercising free will and rationality” (Newburn, 2007 pg 115.) Due to this that meant not only should the punishment be painful or costly it should mainly outweigh the pleasure of when the crime was initially committed. Like Beccaria, Jeremy Bentham’s writings where
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