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Administration of Justice:Theories of Punishment

2/9/2012

Manjeet Kumar Sahu(R450210069)

It implies the peace and order within a political community by means of physical force of the State. Lord Bryce rightly said that- there can be no better test of the excellence of a Government than the efficiency of its judicial administration. The theories of punishments are changing according to the social norms.
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Sir John Salmond, The ends of criminal justice are four in number, and in respect to the purposes served by them, punishment can be divided as: 1. Deterrent 2. Retributive 3. Preventive 4. Reformative
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Deterrent Theory
J. Bentham, as the founder of this theory Bentham's theory was based on a hedonistic conception of man and that man as such would be deterred from crime if punishment were applied swiftly, certainly, and severely. The main object of punishment is to deter other from committing crimes. Salmond: the chief aim of law of crime is to make the evil doer an example and warning to all that are like minded with him.
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Manu the greater law commentator of Ancient time, also supported this theory. He treated punishment as dharma, as the source of righteousness because people are refrained from committing wrongful act through the fear of punishment. The advocates of deterrent punishment hold that fear in the mind of preparation of crime and the consequences that could befall on him dissuade him from committing the crime.
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Criticism
Holmes: says that it was immoral in as much as it lays down no definite measure of punishment except the subjective opinion of the judge. It has proved to be ineffective in restricting crimes.

2/9/2012

Manjeet Kumar Sahu(R450210069)

Retributive Theory
Evil should be returned for evil without any regard to consequences. This theory is appraised by the rule of natural justice which is expressed by the maxim- eye for an eye and tooth for tooth. Philosophy- the theory therefore emphasizes that the pain to be inflicted on the offender by way of punishment must outweigh the pleasure derived by him from his criminal act. Punishment is an expression of society s disapprobation for the offender s criminal act.
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Criticism
Whether retribution can be justified on the ground of social policy. This theory owes its origin in the crude animal instinct of individual or group to retaliate when hurt and therefore, its approach to offender is vindictive (cruel ) and out of tune with the modern reformative punishments.

2/9/2012

Manjeet Kumar Sahu(R450210069)

Supportive View
It is the appropriate moral response to criminal acts because the perpetrators of crime deserve to be punished. In this view they share the same view of deterrent theory(Punishment Justified on both cases) Salmond also said- revenge is the right of the injured person.
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Preventive Theory
Enrich the idea of preventive repetition of crime by disabling the offender through measures such as imprisonment, forfeiture, death punishment, suspension of licenses. Etc. Paton- this theory seeks to prevent the prisoner from committing crime by disabling him.
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For example: when a person stick a notice trespasser will be prosecuted he does not want any actual trespasser and to have the trouble and expense of setting the law in motion against him. He hopes that the threat will render any such action unnecessary, his aim is not to punish for trespass but to prevent it. .
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Reformative Theory
Theory emphasizes on reformation of offenders through the method of individualization. It is based on the humanistic principle that even if an offender commits a crime, he does not cease to be a human being. Therefore an effort should be made to reform him during the period of his incarceration.
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It suggested that instead of prisoner being allowed to idle in jail, they should be properly taught, educates and trained so as to adjust themselves to normal life in the community after the imprisonment. It should not be regarded as setting an old account but rather opening a new account. The focal point of reformists view is that an effort should be made to restore the offender to society as a good and law abiding citizen.
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Conclusion
The deterrent, retributive, preventive and reformative theories of punishment has there own merits and demerits but unfortunately none of them take notice of compensation which should be paid to the victim of the crime. The modern view is that punishment must not be merely to prevent further occurrence of crime but it must seek to compensate the victim of crime.
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2/9/2012

Manjeet Kumar Sahu(R450210069)

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