Does Punishment Deter Crime?

Topics: Crime, Death Penalty, Criminal justice Pages: 4 (1325 words) Published: September 13, 2009
Running head: EFFECTS OF PUNISHMENT

Does Punishment Deter Crime?
Does Punishment Deter Crime?
During biblical times crime not only affected society, but it was believed to have also been directed towards God himself. The Bible is the oldest book to reference with many directives to living life peacefully and without revenge. As retribution is considered a form of punishment, if not the first, the Bible itself explains that the punishment should not exceed the crime. Matthew 5:38 states, “You have heard that it has been said, eye for eye and tooth for tooth”. This passage is meant as a way to explain that the punishment should fit the crime. As a member of society, the offender was punished equally as brutal as the crime that was committed. Some may not agree that justice is always served since the punishment does not bring back the dead or ease the pain that loved ones feel. In order to satisfy society’s need for vengeance, retribution is justified by punishing the criminal which thereby causes suffering to the same degree that was caused by the offender. Retribution may not amend the corrupt behavior of the offender, but does serve its purpose of appeasing society’s need for restoring moral order as revenge would be sought if punishment was not imposed. Deterrence is a logical method of discouraging people from committing crimes by intimidating potential offenders through the reality that there would be harsh consequences for their criminal actions, such as being imprisoned. Humans are rational and so it is only logical to assume that people would reconsider the temptations of criminal activity if the consequences and severity of punishment is contemplated. The emerging of deterrence was the result of retribution and the harshness of the punishment when justice is finally served. Deterrence is effective in that it helps convince a possible offender that the consequences of crime are not worth the crime itself. The consequences of...
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