Capital Punishment in America

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Deterrence is regarded as a means of discouraging individuals from engagement in criminal activities. This involves illustrating to offenders that harsh consequences would result for their criminal actions. Such consequences include one being imprisoned. As such, deterrence illustrates that punishment should be provided as a consequence of crime. Since human beings are rational, contemplation of the severity and consequences of punishment would deter people from temptations of engaging in criminal activities. This validates the use of deterrence as the means of punishment for criminal activities in society. On the other hand, retribution indicates an action of repairing or repaying something as price of criminal activities of an individual. Such a punishment makes an individual develop individual responsibility towards social structures and keep off criminal activities. As such, the most effective means of deterring crime is retribution. This is because an individual is subject to payment of the criminal acts. This acts as an effective means of making an individual not to engage in criminal activities. This type of punishment is more significant in cases where the individual commits a crime for the first time than in cases of subsequent crimes. The American society believes in punishment as a consequence of criminal activities. This depicts that people are aware of what kind of punishment they may receive in case they engage in criminal activities. Moreover, retribution provides a means of punishment, which depends on the degree of the crime committed by an individual. Therefore, the punishment administered to the criminal is equivalent to the crime committed and the criminal does not receive excessive or less punishment in comparison to the magnitude of the crime committed. However, in situations where an individual is engaged in multiple crimes and retribution does not prove effective. Such an individual should be subjected to rehabilitation form of punishment. This is because this form of punishment allows effective cross-examination of the psychological needs and reactions of an individual, which could be the factors, which makes such an individual to engage in criminal activities. After such a cross-examination, an individual is guided under a controlled environment, which allows consistent monitoring of behavior of an individual. This leads to a change in the conduct of an individual in society. Furthermore, rehabilitation provides an opportunity of offering moral education to an individual who is engaged in criminal activities. This may also include provision of vocation training, which equips an individual with skills, which would keep such an individual from engagement in criminal activities, in society. Deterrence is not an effective means of punishment since it leads to the development of fear among individuals, which impacts the decision-making process of individuals in society (Lund, 2002). As such, using deterrence as a form of punishment would create an American society, which is composed of an element of fear.