Retributivist Approach To Punishment

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Retributivism theory considers punishment for offenders, if proportionate to be the best suitable response to a crime. The aim of retributivism is to punish wrongdoers solely for criminal acts and if a crime is committed, the severity of the punishment depends on the seriousness of the crime. When the law is broken the offender in turn forfeits something which in some cases can be their possible freedom by becoming incarcerated and in some parts of the world this can include a death sentence. The reductivist approach is a theory that focuses on past crimes that had been committed irrespective of any future beneficial consequences and is a very objective approach to punishment which uses individual deterrence to control crime. The idea is…show more content…
The ‘re’ in ‘retribution’ means the past, so the retributivist approach focuses mainly on punishments for past crimes rather than in anticipation for future crimes. The importance of the retributivist approach is based upon the principal of just deserts (that which one deserves). If a person is to be punished because they deserve the punishment due to a wrongful act, then that person shall be punished as severely as deserved. Although proportionality also requires that the severity of the offending behaviour be scaled proportionately to the crime it does not mean that punishment has to be equivalent to the crime. Severe crime has to be punished more harshly than minor crime and the punishment must be suitable for the crime committed. Retributivists believe that by punishing the offender it not only makes the offender suffer by punishing them for the crime that they have committed but also gives the offender a chance to pay for what they have done and by doing so, justice is served by giving back to society. However, retributivism which also aims to restore equality by the use of punishment, is said to focus too much on the crime rather than the offender and does not work well in a Western society and due to inequalities, how can we punish wrongdoers when society has driven them to

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