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Why should offenders be punished? Discuss the above question in relation to
justification of punishment.
The question of why offenders should be punished can be viewed from two main theories, reductivism
and retributivism. Within reductivism there is the idea of punishment working as a deterrent to stop
others from committing…

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Different deterrents have a much higher impact in preventing crime. A study looked at changes in
deterrents and found that `where parking fines are replaced by wheel-clamping ­ for example in certain
parts of London ­ illegal parking decreased.' (Kimber 1984) This kind of research helps to point out the…

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criminals reoffend, and too many of their children join them.' (The Times 2009) This reinforces the idea
that if offenders are punished they can then be rehabilitated to become functioning members of society.

The punishment of offenders can often expose the reasoning behind their criminal activity. It is well

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The main aims of retributivism is to ensure that the public condemnation of offending is done. It also feels
that it is important to ensure that the offender recognises their blameworthiness. `Retributivism claims
that it is in some way morally right to return evil for evil, that two wrongs can…

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aware that `dead men rise up never', even when you hang their murderers. Sentencing may have a
ritual function, but whatever the ritual celebrates it is not annulment.' (Walker 1991 p74) A less
metaphorical version of the idea is that `a law-breakers has taken an unfair advantage which can be…

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The Times. (2009). Putting the Sense into Sentencing. Available: Last accessed
19 Oct 2009.

Von Hirsh, A. (1976). Doing Justice: The Choice of Punishments. Northeastern University Press.

Walker, N. (1991). Why punish? Theories of punishment reassessed. Oxford: Oxford University

Zaibert, L. (2006). Punishment and Retribution. Cornwall: MPG Books…


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