SOC/120 Sociology February 26, 2012
Punishment research Paper
Statistics show that there is a high rate of criminal recidivists in the United States. This raises the question. Does punishment deter crime? Realistically
speaking, there is a high rate of crimes in the United States;
Capital punishment’s history in the United States is basically a debate between two
ways of viewing the world: that state-sanctioned death is necessary for society, and that a
civilized society should not see death as the only fair way to punish any crime or criminal.
Throughout the history of capital punishment in the United States, reformists have spoken
out against capital punishment, changing the methods used to execute convicted criminals,
reducing the types of crimes that deserve a death sentence—and, in many cases,
eliminating them—and analyzing the forces that produce criminals to try to stop
criminals from being created. As society continually struggles to balance the human
desires for retribution and compassion, many different forces and opinions shape the
continually evolving philosophy and practice of capital punishment.
Social-conflict theory explains this pattern in three ways. First, all norms – especially the laws of
any society—generally reflect the interests of the rich and powerful. People who threaten the wealthy
likely to be labeled deviant, whether it’s by taking people’s property (“common thieves”) or advocating a more
egalitarian society (“political radicals”). Karl Marx, a major architect of the...