Monday, July 29, 2019

Purpose of Criminal Laws Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words

Purpose of Criminal Laws - Essay Example For example, a child that fails to clean their room would receive â€Å"punishment† in the form of extra chores or loss of other things they normally enjoy. For criminal law, it is no different, except that the consequences of their actions involve a loss of privilege on a greater scale, such as by imprisonment or fines (Banks, 2009). Again, if there were no punishments, there would be no reason not to commit crimes; therefore, some type of consequences must be handed out. Criminal laws seek to set consequences for and punish those that have carried out a crime by means of deterrence, as well as incapacitation, incarceration, restitution, and retribution. People are â€Å"deterred† from actions when they refrain from carrying them out because they fear or do not want the consequences that come with the action (Banks, 2009). Criminal laws aids in this because they not only define what the laws are that cannot be broken but also set out the punishment that each law brings with it. In a state with a death penalty, for example, if someone does not wish to be punished by death, they will not commit a crime that leads them down that path. Thus, the criminal laws have done their job both in setting out the action and the punishment for it, because it has kept people from committing crimes due to the consequences imposed. Though some question the validity of deterrence and call for stiffer penalties in certain laws (Banks, 2009), the fact remains that deterrence is a reason that criminal laws exist. Another reason that criminal laws exist is retribution. Simply put, retribution means that whoever has gone against the laws of society deserves to be punished, and it will bring a measure of peace, if not pleasure, to those that were wronged to see punishment happen. Systems of retribution for crime have long existed, with the best known being the Biblical proverb of â€Å"an eye for an eye† (Banks, 2009). While retribution is known to be confused with revenge, it has been pointed out in law and in argument that the difference between the two is very defined: retribution involves limits set according to the seriousness of the wrongs done to society, whereas there is no limit to revenge (Banks, 2009). Take again the case of the criminal who chooses to murder and take a life in a state that has the death penalty. If convicted, they will pay with their own life through execution. One cannot argue that this is, in fact, an example of â€Å"an eye for an eye† logic in punishing someone who has done wrong. Criminal laws also exist to provide incapacitation and incarceration measures for those that choose to go against the laws of society. Incapacitation is a theory of â€Å"incarceration†, arguing that some criminals need to be separated from society not only for what they might have done but also to protect those who have not done wrong from this individual. It is seen as a good punishment for those that commit crimes be cause while they are incapacitated, or incarcerated

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