Philosophy Of Criminal Sanctions

332 words | 2 page(s)

Retribution is the punishment imposed on a person in disregard of the rights of other people. In this case, the person deserves to be penalized, which is an action that is justifiable since it is a moral requirement (Cole and Smith, 2006). Brandon D. Newton recognizes the history of retribution as resulting from the small wars in the United State’s army, as well as the British army (Newton, 2005). For example, the United States army was responsible for retribution towards the bandit Poncho Villa, who was responsible for a yearlong border raid into New Mexico. On the other hand, the air force and the US navy launched air strikes to Libya, which was a response to the support Libya were giving international terrorist activities aimed at the United States, including some western allies (Newton, 2005).

The philosophy behind retribution as a criminal sanction is based on ensuring fairness and equity in society. As a requirement from the philosophy of retribution, individuals should receive a strict treatment, which is an end that is applicable to secular, as well as religious criminalists. I think the best criminal sanction philosophy is the incapacitation philosophy, which emphasizes on the incapacitation of offenders. Incapacitation involves the removal of the offender from the community with the intention of preventing him or her from committing future crimes (Cole and Smith, 2006). The justice system follows this philosophy, which essentially prevents habitual offenders from harming other people in the society. Through the application of this philosophy, it is possible to impose tough sentencing for repeat offenders, which is a way of preventing first-time offenders as well as repeat offenders from participating in crime. Law recognizes this philosophy, and its application is in accordance with the law since there is a process in the determination of the guilt of the offender.

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  • Cole, G. F., & Smith, C. E. (2006). The American system of criminal justice. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
  • Newton, B. D. (2005). Punishment, revenge and retribution: A historical analysis of punitive operations. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

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