Unit 1 - Crime And Punishment Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Unit 1 - Crime And Punishment Deck (13)
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Aims/purposes of punishment


Protection - from dangerous criminals
Retribution- to take revenge
Vindication- to uphold the law
Repayment- reparation, to make good the damage caused
Reform - rehabilitation, to turn the criminal around
Deterrent - to put others off


Why do Christians punish?


Christians practice justice and fairness.
They also want reformation or or rehabilitation and ultimately strive towards forgiveness
(Also uphold the law)


What is Restorative Justice?


The ‘problem-solving’ approach to crime
RJ aims to repair and restore relations within communities.

Those who have caused harm can see the damage they have caused - opportunity to acknowledge and make amends (compensation)


Restorative Justice (The three parties)


1) The criminal
{Eg. Burglar}

2) The victim
{Eg. House Owner}

3) The Community
{Eg. Church - Priest & community worker}


RJ limitations


No crimes of a sexual nature to be put through this process.
Also if one of the 3 parties does not want to be involved, there is an immediate breakdown.
Does not work if there is no ‘community in area’


Should the death penalty be legalised in the UK?

The case - Arguments for

  • Terrorists who indiscriminately kill people should be hanged.
  • It is a deterrent potential murders/heinous crimes.
  • It has been in existence since the beginning of time, so why abolish it now?
  • It protects civilians and police forces.
  • It adequately expresses society’s total abhorrence of murder
  • A so-called ‘life sentence’ is not punishment enough - some ‘lifers’ are back on the streets in a few years.
  • The law should be based on ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’.
  • It is retribution – the ultimate payback for a criminal who has committed an evil act.
  • Revenge is a natural human emotion - capital punishment helps the victim’s family to get over their loss
  • Capital punishment is the cheapest and most cost effective way of dealing with a serious criminal.

Should the death penalty be legalised in the UK?

The case - arguments against

  • Capital punishment may make convicted terrorists into martyrs
  • The law condemns (reviles) murder and then goes on to murder in the name of the law.
  • It does not necessarily deter others (look at the crime rate in the State of Texas!)
  • The death penalty is inhumane.
  • Society turns the executioner into a murderer
  • Innocent people may be killed
  • The idea should be to rehabilitate people, not kill them! We should study their past (upbringing), motives and the pressures society has put them under.
  • In 1984, 77% of murders knew their victim ‘well’ – this would suggest that family rows, loss of temper etc lead to mistakes occurring.
  • All life is sacred (precious, God-given, holy) so what right has society to judge that a person’s life should end?

Arguments FOR


Deterrence - It will stop other criminals from committing a similar crime
• Retribution - some evil acts need an ultimate payback like capital punishment
• Protection - If evil people are removed then society is protected
• Arguments from religion - Some people for example argue that the Bible is in favour of capital punishment. The Old Testament law gives examples of crimes were the perpetrator should be put to death.
• Financial arguments - Some people argue it would be cheaper to put a criminal to death than for them to be kept in prison for the duration of their lives.


Arguments AGAINST

  • Death penalty does not deter criminals from committing serious crimes. For example in Texas where the death penalty is legalised there are more murders than many states which don’t have the death penalty.
  • Some people don’t want to have the death penalty in the area in which they live. They believe it lowers the tone of their community.
  • is revenge and that serious crimes shouldn’t be dealt with in a cruel and inhumane way. It is also believed that some forms of execution are cruel and will lead to unnecessary suffering to the criminal.
  • Unfair for people who who have to administer the lethal injection.
  • An easy way out for criminals when they should be made suffer in jail for the rest of their lives.
  • Some people worry that those who have extremist ideologies would be turned into martyrs by giving them the death penalty.
  • Even criminals have a right to life and they should not be sentenced to death.
  • Innocence - It is possible that the wrong person might have been convicted. If the death penalty is legalised this would lead to the possibility of putting an innocent person to death. For example in America many people who were sentenced to death before the development of DNA evidence have since been released.
  • Insanity - It can be argued that some people kill others because they are in fact insane. If they are not in their right mind some people think that they should not be put to death for what they have done.
  • Religious - Many Christians believe that grace and forgiveness should be given to people even for terrible crimes. Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, ‘you have heard an eye for an eye but I teach you to turn the other cheek’. This does not mean that there should not be consequences for criminals but it can be argued that they should not be put to death.
  • Financial - It is extremely expensive to put criminals to death and the Government will therefore not save money by having Capital Punishment. (The state of New York have revealed that each person put to death between 1995 and 2004 cost 23 million dollars).

Types of punishment


A Fine - The criminal is charged a certain amount of money.

Community Service - Assigned a length of time in which practical work will be done in the community

Suspended sentence - They will not go to prison unless they commit another crime

Probation -A probation officer will supervise the criminal on a regular basis

Caution - The criminal confesses to the crime and is not given a further punishment.

Tagging - a device will track the criminal to ensure they follow their curfew

Antisocial Behaviour Order (ASBO) - The criminal is not allowed to go to certain places or must stay away from certain people.

Imprisonment - The criminal must serve a sentence in prison.


Why do some people find it easier to forgive than others?

  1. The offender is apologetic in some cases but not in others.
  2. Some victims find it easier to forgive than others because of their personality and also because of their faith.
  3. The type of crime committed can influence how easy it is to forgive. For example if the crime was against property (burglary, shoplifting or vandalism) rather than against the person (murder, assault or sexual offences), some people would find it easier to forgive.

Examples of RJ

  1. Within a School - Teachers may use restorative Justice to help students overcome their differences.
  2. Within the workplace - Bosses may use restorative Justice to overcome problems between employees.
  3. The Restorative Justice Consortium was formed in 1997 in England and Wales. They also work with a variety of organisations across the world in using this process to help work through various situations.

Does RJ work?


Research in the UK suggest 75% of victims are satisfied with the results of restorative justice. Many victims found it helpful to hear what the offender had to say and that it helped with their emotional healing. It has also been suggested that offenders have also found it effective and in some cases has helped them from reoffending. The limitations previously discussed should be mentioned in this question.