There is always a debate on whether the same punishment should be applied to the same crime, or the punishment should depend on the situation at the time when crimes are committed. While the former seems a good system, I agree with the latter. That is, the offender’s situation should be considered in the court trial. At the same time, the laws must be enforced to ensure fair justice.
Supporters of fixed punishments claim that it is essential for justice to apply the laws so that offenders who commit the same kind of crime are punished equally. This is because the law should apply to everyone equally. No matter who you are (either a president or an ordinary person), where you are from or what colour of skin you have, all offenders should be treated the same. By taking the hard line, it will be a deterrent to people considering committing crimes.
However, some argue that there should be some room for leniency. That is, the factors such as the circumstance, or motivation or the consequence caused to the society, have to be taken into account during the trial. The reasons they give are that it is unfair for those people who commit the crime without intention, or cause less damage to the society, or in a particular situation, to receive the same punishment as others in a totally different situation. For example, a mother who steals food in a supermarket to feed her starving child should not get same punishment as another woman who does it for her drug addiction. Similarly, a first time offender should not be treated the same as a repeat offender.
Personally, I prefer the way in which the punishment is decided on a case-by-case basis. In doing so,...