Jesus Lujan Jr.
February 13, 2011
University of Phoenix- Robert Winkler
Effects of Punishment and Sentencing
The Effects of Punishment and Sentencing
Punishment and sentencing are an integral part of our criminal justice system. There are four basic philosophical reasons for sentencing retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation. There are some factors that that can affect how a wrongdoer is punished. There is a debate surrounding capital punishment with very distinct viewpoints. These topics will be covered in this paper. Purpose of Sentencing
There are four basic philosophical reasons for sentencing retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation. Retribution is the oldest and most common justification for punishing someone. In a system of justice that favors retribution, a wrongdoer who has freely chosen to violate society’s rules must be punished for the infraction. Retribution relies on the principle of just deserts, which holds that the severity of the punishment must be in proportion to the severity of the crime. This is not the same as revenge because retribution is more concerned with the needs of society as a whole instead of just the victim or victims. Deterrence seeks to punish wrongdoers and to prevent future crimes by “setting an example.” By setting an example society is sending a message to potential criminals that certain actions will not be tolerated. There are two forms of deterrence: general and specific. The basic idea of general deterrence is that by punishing one person, others will be dissuaded from committing a similar crime. Specific deterrence assumes that an individual, after being punished once for a certain act, will be less likely to repeat that act because she or he does not want to be punished again. Incapacitation is another strategy for preventing crime. Incapacitation is the detention of wrongdoers in prison, preventing the offender from...