What is crime?
Crime is the breaking of rules and as a result the offender can be punished by the governing authority. What a crime is and what is not a crime a defined by the governing authority, and so is the punishment for the crime.
What is punishment?
Punishment is a consequence which a person faces and is due to the fact that they have broken a law. The punishment is supposed to make the offender learn from their mistakes and the offender often has a loss. The offender could be deprived of certain stuff or be isolated from other people. The type of punishment that they recieve depends on the severity of the crime that they have commited. Also the punishment is also give by the governing authority.
Four aims of punishment
Detterance is when the punishments are harsh. The punishments are harsh because it is meant to stop you from committing the same offence again and even contemplating aboyt commiting an offence. The punishment is supposed to be severe so that people would choose not to do the crime because of the harsh consequence.
Protection is when the criminal loses all of his human rights in order for the safety of the public and society. They lose their freedm so that other people do not have to worry about their safety and this punishment is given to the worst crimes such as when a criminal commits murder.
Reparation is when the offender amends their mistakes. In order to this they might do Community service where they do useful tasks which benefit the society, they might apologise to the person that has been affected by the crime or they might pay money to cover the damage that they have caused.
Reform is when the offender is taught how to be a good low abiding citizen. NACRO (National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders) is a charity which is setup to teach criminals how to be good citizens. They do this in the form of education, they talk about what is morally right and wrong.
What is restorative justice?
Restorative justice is an approach to justice which focuses on the needs of both the victim and the offender. The process involves the victim explaining how much their life has been affected by the offender. The offnder is suppposed to rectify their mistakes, they do this by returuning any stolen money, doing community serivce or apologizing. Restorative justice is supposed to make stronger bonds between the criminal and the victim and also legal action is not taken.
What is capital punishment?
Capital punishment is the killing someone for a crime that they have commited. The method that the person is killed varies, some methods would be hanging the persom, electric chair and the lethal injection. Capital punishment can only legeally be sentenced by a state. Also capital punishment is issued for serious offences such as murder, treason, adultery, types of fraud and rape.
Countries where capital punishment is legal
Arguments for capital punishment
"The measure of punishment in a given case must depend upon the atrocity of the crime, the conduct of the criminal and the defenceless and unprotected state of the victim.
Imposition of appropriate punishment is the manner in which the courts respond to the society's cry for justice against the criminals.
Justice demands that courts should impose punishment befitting the crime so that the courts reflect public abhorrence of the crime."
Justices A.S. Anand and N.P. Singh, Supreme Court of
India, in the case of Dhananjoy Chatterjee
This argument baisically says that for people to get justice that people have to suufer for the mistakes that they have made. Also that their extremity of the punishment depended on how severe the crime that the crime that they commited was. If the crime was murder than that person should be killed as they have killed another person. In other words this arguments supports retibution:
- all guilty people deserve to be punished
- only guilty people deserve to be punished
- guilty people deserve to be punished in proportion to the severity of their crime.
Arguments against capital punishment
Therefore if any man is dangerous to the community and is subverting it by some sin, the treatment to be commended is his execution in order to preserve the common good... Therefore to kill a man who retains his natural worthiness is intrinsically evil, although it may be justifiable to kill a sinner just as it is to kill a beast, for, as Aristotle points out, an evil man is worse than a beast and more harmful.
This argument is talking about the value of human life. This argument talks about even the worst murderers should not be killed as you are depriving them from their value of life. Also everyone has a right to live and by killing that person you are violating that right, so technically you are mudering someone. Also Aquinas talks about that in some cases the bad act may seem like a good act.
Hindu views on capital punishment
There is no official scriptures which go against capital punishment, however it is wrong to kill in hinduism as this violates the principle of ahimsa. Hindus are against violence, revenge and killing so they are against capital punishment. Ahimsa is the princple which is against violence and is supporting peace. Technically capital punishment goes against hindu beliefs and therefore it is wrong.
How this differs to the arguments
Hindu beliefs on capital punishment differs to the argument for capital punishment in the sense that the argument for capital punishment is about justice and causing pain to the criminal to get justice. This differs from the viewpoint of hinduism because hindus believe in ahimsa which is non violence so they are against capital punishment. The Hindus viewpoint is similar to Thomas Aquinas argument against capital punishment because Thomas Aquinas Talks about how sacred life is and this is similar to the viepoint of Hinduism because the Vedas say that all life is sacred and is to be loved and revered.