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Punishment Research Paper

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Punishment Research Paper
Craig Hart
March 25, 2012
SOC/120

When it comes to American society there are four types of punishment. These types of punishment are retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation and societal protection. Punishment in its concept is favorably perceived as a retributive practice. Our society uses these four forms of punishment attempting to lower crime rates in our society. Some of these types of punishments could be considered harder than others however each one has its own distinction.

Retribution according to the dictionary is the act of punishing or taking vengeance for wrongdoing, sin, or injury. I think that the phrase “an eye for an eye” and “a tooth for a tooth” is a very good definition of how retribution depicts peoples need for justice in our American society. When people have gone through an experience of crime or pain, they want some sort of closure or retribution to satisfy their morality. An example of retribution is in our courts system when murders get convicted and sentenced to one life behind bars for every life that was taken. People who believe in retribution believe that there is no rehabilitation or any help to change the criminal just that the criminal must serve the time sentenced. As stated by Gerard V. Bradley (2003) the adoption of retribution as the philosophical basis for punishment therefore provides a powerful, multi-faceted justification for beyond that proffered by the alternatives. Retribution certainly includes elements of deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation, but it also ensures that the guilty will be punished, the innocent protected, and societal balance restored after being disrupted by crime. Retribution is thus the only appropriate moral justification for punishment (Vol. 27, Issue 1). Retribution tries to be a positive solution to a problem just as deterrence can be also....

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