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Does Punishment deter Crime

By shasahasa Sep 29, 2014 548 Words
Punishment has been set in place by society as a safety net. This is does not mean it prevents crime, in fact in some instances it may lead to the fabricating of more crime. By trying to punish iniquities done by others, one commits other severities. Punishment does not deter crime and can even turn others to breaking the law.

One of the reasons society relies so heavily on punishments is because there is a common fallacy in place involving the benefits of having punishments set. Punishment doesn’t stop crime before it happens, it doesn’t discourage all from breaking laws. For example, a Missouri man named Jeff Mizanskey was sentenced to die in prison for purchasing seven pounds of marijuana. With two nonviolent marijuana convictions already on his record, Jeff received life without parole under Missouri's three strikes law. Punishment did not prevent this man from committing the same crime three times in a row; therefore, the belief that punishment deters crime is invalid. Source 6 agrees with the claim that even though there is a set consequence for crime, people still violate the law. There has been crime in the past even when there was severe punishment in place. Thus this exemplifies the fact that punishment does not deter crime.

Perhaps punishing crime is not the solution. For instance, say someone is so ridiculed because of their punishment, their reputation is damaged. This is embodied by source 5 in which there is an image of a boy wearing a sign in public stating “I am a thief”. Say this teen was to try and apply for a job, but because of a mistake he made and a punishment he went through in because of it, he was denied a job. Then what? What else would this boy be able to turn to but a life of crime? Again punishment is shown as non-deterring towards criminal actions.

Sometimes we are so determined to save others we get caught up, almost entangled in a web of hypocrisy. While trying to stop crime from occurring, society can sometimes stoop to low levels to set examples for those pondering a life of. Some punishments will violate a criminal’s right, as a human, and a citizen of a country. In society’s effort to prevent crime through punishment there are so many injustices going on. Punishments can be so cruel, they may end up violating one’s constitutional rights, and this is a crime in itself. For instance the long debated theme of capital punishment ties into this theory because here, we have society killing someone in cold blood. The irony in this is that now society has lowered itself to a level in which they contribute to criminality. By punishing those who have had the misfortune of breaking the law, one can commit what they are so keen on preventing: a crime. Source 7 backs up this view by citing examples of when this has actually occurred. Therefore, punishment is actually not deterring crime, and in this case is even creating new crime.

Although punishment does not deter crime, it may still be necessary as a consequence for those who have broken the law. Other methods may be instituted in preventing crime over punishment, since punishment is not effective in stopping crimes.

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