The Theory Of The Classical Theory

1395 Words Nov 16th, 2015 6 Pages
Cesare Beccaria, an economist and Jeremy Bentham, an English philosopher, developed the classical theory in the 18th century at a time in which punishment was extreme and severe (Di Tella&Dubra, 2008). Bentham and Beccaria investigated the causes of delinquency and criminal behavior and scientifically explained the deviance. They never came up with a new criminology theory, but rather focused on a manner in which they could make the punishment for committing a crime rational. Based on the founders of the theory, a hierarchy of punishments should be formulated with the extreme crimes being punished severely. The number of times in which an individual commits a crime also matters, and punishment should be issued based on such. The Classical theory holds the perspective that crime can be deterred in the society if the consequences of committing such criminal offenses are harsh, absolute and administered quickly (Williams and McShane, 2014).
Based on the classical theory, people choose to commit a particular criminal offense after weighing both the negative and the positive consequences. The positive consequences always outweigh the negative consequences and as such, an individual goes ahead and commits a crime. The deviance of Kimberly Davis, the Kentucky Clerk that was jailed for not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples does not support the classical theory.
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The Classical theory holds many factors into consideration that an individual should analyze and look…
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