The concept of just punishment philosophy essay

concept of punishment pdf

Deterrence is based on the assumption that individuals are rational, calculating beings see Section 2. In the teleological view, an action must be justified by its consequences; an action must serve some good in society.

Public policy advocates insisted that the best thing to do with convicted offenders was to imprison them, in the belief that the most economical way to reduce crime was to incapacitate known recidivists via incarceration, or even death Wilson Gibbs, Jack P.

Definition of punishment in law

However, if the behavioural prediction is not borne out e. One classical type of balance-restoration stems from Hegel. Moore Nietzsche, Friedrich, , On the Genealogy of Morals, tr. They start with realizing that punishing people is not intelligibly done entirely or solely for its own sake, as are, say, playing cards or music, writing poetry or philosophy, or other acts of intrinsic worth to their participants. In the deontological view, on the other hand, actions are not justified by their consequences, but rather by their intrinsic i. Drawing on our emotions of love and hatred, we feel that he deserves it. The following section offers a brief discussion of two influential early utilitarians who based their theories on deterrence: Bentham and Beccaria. The intervention, in turn, is justified by the damage done, and is aimed at compensation reparation of that damage. They differ amongst each other in their focus on the available method s to attain that common goal. So much by way of review of the recent past as a stage setting for what follows—a sketch of what we take to be the best general approach to the problem of defining and justifying punishment. LaFleur Intro. What emerges from his account is the view that what passes for the justification of punishment as with any other social practice is inextricably tied up with assumptions, beliefs—in short, with ideology—that have no independent rational foundation. Kant, like many positive retributivists after him, insists that humans, rational beings capable of moral understanding, should never be treated as a means to promote some future good, neither for themselves nor for society at large. The fact that a practice exists does not necessarily mean that it is, or can be, justified in its present form, although this might have been the case in the past.

We cannot meet these challenges to the deontological retributivist by insisting that punishment is nothing more than a necessary conceptual consequence of living under the rule of law Fingarette Both views have their repercussions within the hybrid framework.

If general prevention is aimed at, this might well be at the expense of the individual offender in need of rehabilitation Muller,p.

Do we accept disproportionally severe punishment or even punishment of the innocent if its net effect is to contribute to the maximisation of good in society? The sentencer who chooses a severe prison sentence in order to deter potential offenders, could do this at the expense of the particular offender who might be helped and prevented from reoffending if he were given some form of treatment.

The concept of just punishment philosophy essay

If we are to distinguish retribution from mere revenge[vii], we need objective criteria to justify it. The question of why wrongdoers deserve punishment instead of some other non-punitive reaction to their actions remains unanswered by Kant. Even in a just society, not every person will comply with the law, and not everyone who does comply will do so out of respect for the rights of others, that is, out of recognition of others as persons with rights deserving mutual respect. As was discussed above, Bentham did not give a clear utilitarian reason why we should not punish the innocent in order to deter potential offenders. Is there an objectively valid morality shared by everyone? The argument simply is that a guilty person should be punished because he deserves it. Although such hybrid accounts do not offer any essentially new theoretical insights, they are interesting and relevant alternatives for pure retributive or utilitarian reasoning.

Its credibility is established by its being generally perceived to be both reasonably severe hence unpleasant and effectively enforced hence arrest and its consequences is likely for anyone who does not comply.

Walker, Nigel,Why Punish? The point of departure for any transformation is by definition an immanent one. For this reason it is possible to punish the innocent and undeserving without being unjust.

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The Purpose of Punishment in a Modern Society Essay