Thursday, August 8, 2019

Concept of criminal punishment Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words

Concept of criminal punishment - Essay Example The English were notorious for their use of corporal punishment and their penchant for this form of punishment proliferated in their iniquitous colonies (Punishment ). The American colonies witnessed such abnormal cruelty at the hands of the English masters, and a semblance of civilized behavior was established after the advent of independence. Gradually, corporal punishment was rooted out of the American penal system, and the extant penal system has no room for such iniquitous measures (Punishment ). From the dawn of civilization, societies have implemented a wide array of punishments to deter crime. Initially and even today in some of the Islamic countries, the lex talionis or the law of equal retaliation used to hold sway. In this form of punishment the retribution is akin to the crime committed. For instance, in some Islamic countries, a thief’s hand is amputated. This is termed as the law of hudÃ… «d. An improvement over these barbaric customs was the exaction of money from the perpetrators of crime. This was predominant in England from the 5th to the 15th century. Such money was required to be paid as compensation for theft, personal injury and death (Champion, 2007). The American penal system is characterized by a high rate of incarceration. This is on account of the proliferation of crime and the resolve of the authorities to enhance the number of compulsory sentences. The discretionary powers of the judiciary have been curtailed, since the 1980’s with the consequence that the length of sentences increased from 39 to 54 months. This measure has been hailed as a grand success, because there was a substantial decrease in the crime rate. However, of late, the crime rate has displayed an increase. This has been attributed to the absence of a properly implemented rehabilitation program for convicts, and the proclivity of the authorities to imprison people with

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