It is a normal feeling for people in our society to want someone to be punished for the crime they commit. Without any type of punishment it feels like justice was not served especially when there is a victim involved. This in many people’s eyes is a way to justify punishment and it is based on the just dessert theory. With this theory it is the belief that a person should be punished based on the harm they caused and the crime they committed. In other words the punishment should fit the crime. People who are for just dessert believe that retribution justifies punishment because it is deserving based on the crime. Where the opposing side believes that justification of punishment lies in the ability to prevent or minimize future harm. Arguments in Favor of Just Dessert
When researching just dessert I found three particular arguments in favor of the just dessert theory. The first argument is that the punishment should be the same for all offenders based on the crime they committed. This is considered to be fair and justified punishment because it is deserving of the crime committed. The second argument supports that just dessert encompasses fair treatment both to the vulnerable in society and victims rather than just the offenders. This allows the victims of crimes to know what type of justice they can expect. And finally the third argument believes that the just desert theory is the best way to explain the death penalty for murder because if an offender takes a life they would understand and expect that their punishment would be a sentence of death. Arguments Against Just Dessert
There are many arguments against the just desserts theory. Two significant arguments against the just dessert theory are that it gives an inadequate justification of bias or hate crimes and cannot explain the state’s democratic duty to protect the most vulnerable victims. Many opponents are concerned...
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