Views Of Punishment: Classical And Positivist

828 words - 3 pages

VIEWS OF PUNISHMENT: CLASSICAL AND POSITIVISTPOSITIVIST AND CLASSICAL PUNISHMENTAUI OnlineKevin HensleyUnit 2 IPPenologyCRJS335 - 1404B - 0110/15/2014Dr. Edward HaleIntroductionDuring the eighteenth century the enlightenment theory emerged which would pave the way for classical criminology. Until classical criminology was introduced, offenders were believed to be committing crimes because they were sinners and/or possessed by the devil. Because of this belief the punishment was intended to remove evil from the offender's soul and the law of religion was used mostly against the poor of the population.These laws gave those who were accused of a crime little or no protection and by the use of torture a confession was wretched from the accused while punishments were mostly unreasonable and cruel.Classical ApproachThe classical approach to punishment allows that the offender makes the rational choice to commit crimes and the offender makes the decision based on the pleasure would outweigh the pain of being punished. The offender uses free will when they choose to engage in criminal behavior. In response, the punishment or deterrent should slightly outweigh what the offender had gained. This has had a great impact on today's criminal justice system (Blomberg, T. G., & Lucken, K., 2010).This is also the reasoning classical thinkers condemn the death penalty. The classical approach believes the death penalty does not deter certain crimes because the punishment should just slightly outweigh the gain.Positivist ApproachThe positivist approach to punishment focuses more on the reason why an offender commits a crime. This approach does not support that all individuals have a choice or free will, but instead supports an offenders behavior is due to biological defects and/or abnormalities. These defects rob the offender of their free will and therefore are the cause of their deviant behavior. In other words, criminals are not made, they are born and the causes of crime must be identified in order to rectify the problem.Cesare Lombroso, a physician from Italy, believed this as well. Lombroso had performed many autopsies on criminals and observed many had the same characteristics physically which included, but was not limited to, broad noses, long arms and sloping shoulders. The condition was known as atavism. Lombroso believed that criminals were immoral people and a kind of throwback to primitive man and they had not developed biologically as a non-criminal individual had. In other words, they were "born criminals" (Ramsland, K., 2009).This approach also has a different ideal as to punishment. Positivists believe the...

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