The Deterrent Of The Punishment

972 Words Nov 30th, 2015 4 Pages
“Research to date generally indicates that increases in the certainty of punishment, as opposed to the severity of punishment, are more likely to produce deterrent benefits” (Wright, 1). The seriousness of the penalty should prompt the possible offenders to think twice or weigh their options prior to carrying out a crime. Half of State inmates and a third of Federal prisoners reported committing their current offense under the influence of alcohol or drugs (Mumola). This works against the deterrence theory because while the individual is under the influence their thought process is dysfunctional. There isn’t a sound thought process in their mind while committing or before deciding whether or not to commit the crime. “Therefore, it is unlikely that such persons are deterred by either the certainty or severity of punishment because of their temporarily impaired capacity to consider the pros and cons of their actions” (Wright, 2). Another reason deterrence is imperfect is that if there was actual certainty that the criminal would be apprehended, limited people would do so. “Most crimes, including serious ones, do not result in an arrest and conviction, the overall deterrent effect of the certainty of punishment is substantially reduced” (wright, 2). Increasing severity of punishment and sentencing over the years has had little effect because the potential criminals think about the chance of them not getting detained for committing their crime. If the public was more certain…
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