Punishment Research Paper in Soc/120

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In the United States crimes are committed every day. The question becomes what is the most effective way to handle those who committed the crimes. Every crime is different and every criminal has a different motive. Is there a way to choose one punishment or does each case need to be handled on an individual basis? Deciding the punishment is the most important way to ensure that the crime does not happen again by the same individual. The United States currently uses four types of punishment; retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, and social protection. Retribution can be described as, “An act of moral vengeance by which society makes the offender suffer as much as the suffering caused by the crime” (Macionis, p. 182). Retribution works to find a punishment that most fits the crime. If a person steals items from a store will removing their hand stop them from stealing again? This example of course would be considered cruel and unusual and in today’s society would not be acceptable punishment. The death penalty is the most common form of retribution when it is used to punish a murderer. Punishing a criminal to the death penalty for killing someone else would be a punishment that fits the crime. However, the death penalty is not an accepted form of punishment in all parts of America some have argued that without the threat of the death penalty a criminal can be punished less severely than deserved. According to Ewegen. The Post’s editorial suggested a life sentence as an alternative to capital punishment. But in doing so, it ignored the death penalty’s greatest value-it lets prosecutors strike plea bargains in which vicious killers agree to a life sentence in return for the prosecution agreeing not to seek a death penalty (1994). Retribution does not work with the criminal to ensure that the crime would not happen again. When retribution is used as punishment is benefits the victims more than the criminal. The victims have a sense of payback for the crimes that...
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