Megan Marie Kayser
University of Phoenix
June 12, 2011
Patrice Jackson SOC/120
Punishment Research Paper
There have been four types of justification for punishment throughout the years of society. From older punishments such as retribution to more modern punishments like societal protection, all have been put in place to protect society and to punish individuals for their deviant acts. To find out which type of justification for punishment is most effective, one needs to know how each work and the impact these punishments have on society.
The first and oldest type of justification for punishment is retribution. An eye for an eye is the best example of retribution. The idea of this type of punishment is to make the criminal suffer as much as he or she has made their victims suffer. The justice system feels that retribution will rule out the need for “street justice” or the cause for others to commit crimes while seeking vengeance and disrupting society further. The problem with enforcing retribution is making sure the punishment fits the crime. Retribution in a murder case means the one who committed the crime should pay for that crime with his or her life. If a thief steals something from a person, what should the criminal’s punishment be? Who says that a certain punishment is enough or not enough, and is it morally correct? Why is it that society needs some type of revenge for a punishment when nothing can change the fact that the crime was committed?
Another type of justification for punishment that society has encountered is deterrence. Society needs a type of balance for people to feel comfortable. When a crime is committed, it disrupts this balance and people have the need for someone to pay for the actions taken so that the balance can be equal once more. Deterrence helps keep that balance by putting fear into people. The fear that a person will get caught committing a crime will have to face punishment...