THEORIES OF PUNISHMENT

INTRODUCTION: Punishment. A notion that is inextricably linked to criminal justice. Certain acts are only regarded as “crimes” because of the term “punishment.” The rulers utilized the weapon known as “punishment” against their subjects in order to instill dread in the public’s minds about their rulers’ capabilities and powers. The following are the numerous punishment theories:
RETRIBUTIVE THEORY.
DETERRENT THEORY.
PREVENTIVE THEORY.
INCAPACITATION THEORY.
COMPENSATORY THEORY.
REFORMATIVE THEORY.
UTILITARIAN THEORY.

1.) Retributive Theory– The term “retribute” refers to giving back the same thing that was given to you. To retaliate Vengeance Theory is another name for it. It is founded on the tit for tat premise. This notion contradicts Mahatma Gandhi’s concept.

There was a belief that subjecting the perpetrator to the same torment that he had inflicted on the victim would make him comprehend what he had done.

To put it another way, this theory posits that tit for tat, eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. The punishment must be in accordance with the seriousness of the crime. Criminals, according to proponents of this view, must be in pain. The oldest ancient philosophy of justice is retributive theory.

The retributive notion of punishment has the following drawbacks:-
1.) It exasperates (irritates and frustrates) the offender.
2.) The criminal has no recourse for the crime he or she has done.
3.) This sort of punishment reflects justice’s irrational nature.
4.) Punishment does not necessarily have to be retaliatory.

2.) Deterrent Theory– The word deter refers to the act of preventing something from occurring. Deterrent theory refers to the practice of refraining from performing a specific action. The main goal of using this strategy is to keep criminals from committing crimes. According to such views, the punishments meted out are harsh, instilling terror not only in the criminal’s head but also in the minds of others. In some Islamic nations, this belief is still prominent.

In other words, the goal of this philosophy is to not only prevent the wrongdoer from committing another wrong, but also to make him a role model for society and other criminals.

“Every commissioner of crime should be made a ‘bad bargain’ for the offenders,” stated Locke, a follower of the deterrent principle.

The deterrent theory of punishment has the following drawbacks:-
1.) Once a punishment is completed, it fails to instill dread in the minds of criminals.
2.) This form of punishment fails to instill dread in hardened criminals’ minds.
3.) Arouses compassion for offenders among the general people.

3.) Preventive Theory– This theory’s major goal is to avoid crime. Criminals are kept out of society when they are imprisoned. The goal of this idea is to keep repeat offenders from committing the same crime by punishing them. Paton is a proponent of the preventive theory.

The preventative theory of punishment has the following drawbacks:-
1.) It fails to achieve the goal of juvenile offenders and first-time offenders.

4.) Incapacitation Theory– This approach places criminals in a condition of incapacitation in order to prevent them from committing the crime. Before attempting to conduct future crimes, offenders and future generations develop a terror in their minds, therefore deterring them. Incapacitated refers to a person who lacks strength or force.

5.) Compensatory Theory– Theorists of this idea claim that the punishment’s goal is self-realization. If an offender acknowledges his remorse after committing an offense, he must be forgiven.

In other words, this notion is based on the victim being compensated for the loss inflicted by the accused. In this way, the perpetrators are forced to feel the same pain that the victim has had.

The expiatory or compensating view of punishment has the following drawbacks:-
1.) The motive for the crime is oversimplified.
2.) Excessively idealistic
3.) In today’s world, it is very impractical.

6.) Reformative Theory– This philosophy focuses on rehabilitating offenders and reintegrating them into society as law-abiding citizens. This follows Gandhi’s idea of “hating the sin, not the sinner.”

In the case of juveniles, this notion was somewhat successful. During the offender’s detention, some labor or crafting is placed on him in the hopes that he will begin a new life after his sentence is completed.

The reformative theory of punishment has the following drawbacks:-
1.) If this philosophy is applied to offenders, the prison will cease to be a prison and will instead become a residence.
2.) This idea falls short of its goal when it comes to habitual criminals.
3.) If a decent citizen is penalized for something he has not done, this notion could backfire.

7.) Utilitarian Theory– This approach uses deterrents on criminals to discourage them from committing crimes, such as crippling or disablement. This hypothesis yields both positive and negative outcomes. Such punishments are thought to be extremely harsh.

CONCLUSION: Punishment is intended to deter criminal activity in society. To minimize crime in society, the root reasons must be identified and addressed, with some of the root causes including unemployment, education, and others.

In some horrific crimes, such as rape or murder, where punishment falls short of the harm caused, the victims must be compensated in a fair and timely manner. The court should consider all factors while deciding on punishment because even if a hundred people are charged, an innocent person should not be punished.

ENDNOTES: https://www.toppr.com/guides/legal-aptitude/indian-penal-code/theories-and-kinds-of-punishment/

Aishwarya Says:

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