Crime and Punishment

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  • Created by: Aabir
  • Created on: 31-03-16 11:41

4.1 The need for law and justice

For society needing laws

  • So people know what sort of behaviour to expect from one another
  • To prevent exploitation (e.g. businesses, salaries)
  • To help society funtion and stay organised
  • To prevent crimes

Against society needing laws

  • Laws restrict human freedom
  • Some countries have experimented with fewer traffic laws and have had less accidents
  • Small societies work well as people know each other
  • Laws against things such as drugs result in organised crime
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4.2 Theories of punishment


  • It makes criminals pay for the crime in proportion to the severity of the crime
  • It gives justice and makes the criminal suffer
  • Retribution is hypocritical
  • Retribution doesn't stop the criminal from reoffending


  • It stops people from reoffending
  • It lowers the overall crime rate as is stops other criminals from committing the crime
  • Countires with the death penalty have higher murder rates
  • Criminal's don't think they will be caught, so are not deterred


  • It makes society better in the long run
  • It rehabilitates offenders
  • Many criminals reoffend anyway
  • Reform is expensive and doesn't bring justice
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4.3 Christian views on justice

For justice being more important for religious people

  • The Bible syas God wants the world to be run justly
  • The New Testament teaches to treat each other fairly and equally
  • Christian churches issue statements about the need for justice
  • The Bible says God will reward the just and punish those who sin

Against justice being more important for religious people

  • Many societies are made up of non-religious and religious people
  • Laws need to be just so people don't feel it is right to break the law
  • The purpose of laws areto create a just society
  • When laws are unjust it disrupts society
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4.4 Islamic views on justice

The Qur'an says God is just

The Qur'an teaches that Muslims should treat people fairly

The Shari'ah is based on justice and equality for everyone

Islamic law bans things which are thought to be unjust (e.g. charging interest)

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4.5 Capital punishment

For capital punishment

  • It protects society
  • It is equal retribution for the crime of murder
  • It would deter others from committing murder
  • Some people, such as psychopaths, are beyond reformation

Against capital punishment

  • The verdict may be incorrect
  • Countries with no capital puishment penalty have lower murder rates
  • Death may be preferable to some than life imprisonment
  • Murderers who know they will be killed will likely kill more to avoid being caught
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4.6 Christian attitudes to capital punishment

For capital punishment

  • The death penalty is used in the Bible
  • The Roman Catholic Church and Church of England haven't cancelled their statements for capital punishment
  • The Church has used it for heresy
  • St Thomas Aquinas said that the protection of society is most important

Against capital punishment

  • Jesus came to reform sinners
  • Jesus said an eye for an eye is wrong
  • The Decalogue condemns murder
  • Christianity teaches all life is sacred
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4.7 Islamic views on capital punishment

For capital punishment

  • It is a punishment set down by God in the Qur'an
  • Muhammad agreed with its use for certain crimes (e.g. murder, adultery)
  • Muhammad sentenced people to death
  • It is allowed in the Shari'ah

Against capital punishment

  • It is recommended by the Qur'an, but not compulsory
  • The Shari'ah says that blood money can be accepted instead
  • It is hypocritical to kill a killer
  • Muslims believe in the sanctity of life
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4.8 Laws on drugs and alcohol


  • Tobacco can't be sold to under 18s
  • Packs must show health warning


  • It is illegal to drink and drive
  • Under 18s can't buy alcohol


  • It is illegal to take drugs
  • It is illegal to distribute drugs
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4.9 Problems caused by drugs and alcohol

For drug laws

  • Drugs can be harmful to society (e.g. drinking and driving)
  • It costs the NHS a lot of money to deal with drug, alcohol and tobacco problems
  • Drugs involve crime and can lead to gang violence
  • Addictions can drive people to crime (e.g. stealing money to pay for drugs)

Against drug laws

  • Countries which have decriminalised soft drugs have fewer drug problems (e.g. the Netherlands)
  • Laws which prohibit alcohol use cause problems with organised crime
  • People have the right to abuse their own body
  • Taxes on tobacco and alcohol pay for NHS funding
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4.10 Christian attitudes to drugs and alcohol

For alcohol and tobacco (in moderation)

  • Jesus turned water into wine
  • Jesus used bread and wine at the Last Supper
  • The Catholic church teaches to drink in moderation
  • St Paul said to drink in moderation

Against drugs and alcohol

  • The human body is God's temple
  • The Bible warns against drunkenness
  • Alcohol damages judgement
  • Some people may not know how much they can tolerate
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4.11 Islamic views on drugs and alcohol

Muhammad said intoxitants are fobidden

Drugs and alcohol are a form of suicide which is banned in Islam

Muhammad said Muslims can't drink alcohol, or be involved in its production or sale

The Qur'an says intoxicants are a means by which Satan keeps Muslims from the right path

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