In this essay, I will argue that equal punishment and proportional retribution do not justify the use of the death penalty. First, I will argue that equal punishment is too specific and literal because it stems from the idea that one crime is deserving of that exact crime in the form of a legal punishment. In the case of murder, that belief would condone punishing murder with murder. We can’t justify some killings while condemning others. By giving permission to someone to execute another human being on the grounds of the death penalty, we are allowing him or her to kill another human being for killing. This creates a cycle of murder. Second, I will argue that proportional retribution does not leave the death penalty as the only option for punishment. However, it does give much room for interpretation and is not specific enough regarding alternative punishments. It would allow us to rank crimes according to severity and dole out punishments according to that scale. I will also bring up how retributive justice does not completely delve into the concept of who deserves to deliver the punishment to the murderer. Retributive justice is simply a means of attempting to legally inflict suffering upon another human being for their wrongful actions.
Louis P. Pojman provides an argument for retribution as he states, “The moral justification of punishment is not vengeance, but desert. Vengeance signifies inflicting harm on the offender out of anger because of what he has done. Retribution is the rationally supported theory that the criminal deserves a punishment fitting the gravity of his crime” (p. 57). Therefore, retribution is not based on hatred for the criminal, but is the belief that the criminal deserves to be punished in proportion to his crime, whether or not the victim or anyone else desires it. Retribution, as explained by Louis Pojman, supports the death penalty as it proposes that those who have taken a life deserve to lose their own life.
One of the oldest justifications for punishment involves the principles of retribution. Retribution (1900-1905) refers to an idea that offenders should be punished for committing a crime, but would not punish someone who was forced to commit a cri-me, i.e. duress. It can be sometimes be viewed as a
Retribution is what most commonly referred to as the “just deserts” model that says the punishment should match the “degree of harm a criminal has inflicted on their victims” (Stohr, Walsh, & Hemmens, 2013, p.6). In other words,
A very simple, yet popular and long-standing goal of sentencing is retribution. Criminals are punished according to their crime because they deserve punishment. The idea that a certain crime equals a certain punishment is very simple and could
In order for us to understand the moral theories surrounding the justification of punishment we must first accept that punishment exists to benefit the society we live in. Punishment as a whole should protect a community by sanctioning crimes to a significant degree whilst preventing them from reoccurring. If a punishment does not protect a community it is believed that that punishment is unjust and will be unfair to both the criminal and the community members. I believe that a retributivist style of punishment only focuses on the treatment of the singular rather than that of the masses. It is for this reason that I will argue why a consequentialist or utilitarian theory best allows us to understand the justification of punishment.
The first goal of punishment is retribution. Retribution, also known as deserved punishment, it is when one is punished for committing a crime that harmed other people in some manner (277; ch.9). The purpose of this goal is for the criminal to understand that if you commit a crime, consequences will come with that. Depending on the crime that is committed will decide how serious the punishment is. A lot of factors are considered with retribution during the sentencing process. Factors such as the age of the defendant, their previous offense history, not only that but the victims of the crime. The judge might give the defendant a sentence that will not only punish him for the crime but also make the family feel that the proper sentence was given to the criminal.
Punishment is used as a way to protect the values and used as a deterrent to create the right values in society.
But I submit that such a philosophical foundation is flawed. Revenge while understandable from an individual human perspective is not a proper basis for society 's response to the misbehavior of its laws. This human urge to punish should be removed from the current system and replaced with methods of restrictions that utilize the offender 's potential to benefit his victim and society at large.
Utilitarians view punishment as a pathway lined with deterrence… one that ultimately leads criminals towards rehabilitation. This is a forward-looking approach, as it focuses on the future of criminal behavior (Hemmens et al., 2013). This perspective concentrates on two separate entities. Those being the person whom is punished, as well as the other members of society. If one were to ask a utilitarian, “Why Punish?” the response would likely be, “We must punish in order to promote good and prevent evil… in the future.” There is little focus on the crime that has already been committed or under what circumstances that it occurred. The concern is with what society should do next in order to prevent it from happening again. Utilitarians believe that if no good consequences result from punishment, then no punishment is justified. One could look at this philosophy of punishment as a doorway of opportunity for criminals, but also as a doorway of fear… one that keeps law-abiding citizens from
Retribution by definition is the “punishment inflicted on someone as vengeance for a wrong or criminal act” . Though this method justice can properly be served by restoring the order of justice. This simply means the wrongdoer pays the equivalent price as the harm done. Each criminal should
Sayre-McCord’s paper discusses the idea that there is a distinct difference between punishment and legal reparations. He states that punishment is to bring pain to another who has committed an offense. He says this raises moral concerns because that is what defines punishment. However, reparations do not aim to inflict pain but to create a way for the offender to make amends with the person or people he/she has inflicted pain to. The offender that has committed the crime still has rights and they can also deserve a second chance. He says that some crimes are more severe than others where the criminal does not have that right anymore to be punished by making legal reparations, however, most crimes are not like that. Thus, he argues that the best solution for most
Through The Fetal Position by Chris Meyers, he brings up arguments he has encountered. Then responds to each of the arguments. Two widely used arguments are the Punishment and Accepting Responsibility arguments. The Punishment argument states that unwanted pregnancy is the deserved punishment for ending up pregnant. While the Accepting Responsibility argument states that the woman should own up, and be responsible for getting pregnant. To Meyers both of these arguments are largely flawed, and he counters each with multiple responses.