Last Updated 16 Jun 2020

Deterrence theory requires punishment

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The birth of criminology ended discussions on legal philosophy in the 18th century. Bentham and Beccaria claimed that actions were the result of free will. Deterrence theory requires punishment to outweigh the pleasures derived from the criminal act. This is the underlying rationale by which our present criminal justice system operates. Consideration for biological factors as origin of criminal behavior was proven to be insignificant. Environment was said to play a vital role in such behavior.

Heredity accepts it as unavoidable and a consequence of a bad seed most likely making it like a matter of destiny. The major contenders of crime were observed to be both environmental and psychosocial like greed, desire for power, poverty, education and parenting, and population statistics. These factors most likely raised Cain and produced crime. If biological factors were not eminent in the defects of brain waves and genetics consideration for criminology, the prime consideration of crime then is not centered on the person itself but with the sociological factors that have molded character and trait.

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Human behavioral genetics assumes that all phenomena have a scientific causal explanation exploring the relationship between behavioral genetics and concept of criminal responsibility. It argues that it has little utility in assessing criminal responsibility as a matter of criminal law theory. Behavioral genetics do not support the idea that human actions were caused by genes. Behavioral differences between individuals were brought about by a complex interaction of biology and environment.

Heritability as a statistical approximation of genetic differences against environmental differences varies by age, culture, and environment and do not translate behavioral variation into causal explanation. It does not explain the causes of any specific act done by a person. Behavioral genetics studies revealed failure to account 38% to 88% of the observed behavioral variation of the group being studied. These observations will alone limit the introduction and participation of behavioral genetics evidence in criminal cases. Instead it tends to provide an open excuse for criminal responsibility when mitigating criminal liability.

Criminal responsibility determines whether and to what extent is the judgement for corrective punishment. It allegedly shifts responsibility to individual characteristics of the defendant and not of the act itself. This is but a part only of a strategic defense in criminal law proceedings. (Coleman & Farahany 2006). Many criminals have relinquished social responsibility. Their lives projects trajectory paths from the inception of their early life. They were an absolute product of misguided conscience of parental abuse and child rearing who lacks caring and education.

Intimate face-to-face interactions in early life are crucial in molding a child’s personality and character. Witnessing and experiencing emotionally traumatic events within the domain of their warring families develops their perpetuation and formation of attitudes towards the world. The experience itself created a platform for determination of self control, discipline, and modes for socially accepted behavior. (Fleisher 1997). These factors are purely social-psychological effects of the economic and environment situation of an individual.

Socioeconomic variables account the consequence of the act and of the blame. Crime inevitably involves human action and subjects itself for moral evaluation. Compromising rationality on a behavior’s moral evaluation is entirely not related to the genes of the individual but of the context of the individual’s social environment and values formation. References Coleman, J. & Farahany, N. (2006). Genetics and responsibility: To know the criminal from the crime. Law and contemporary problems. 69 (1-2), 115+. Fleisher, M. (1997). Can we break the pattern of the criminal lifestyle. USA Today. 125(2624), 30+.

Deterrence theory requires punishment essay

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