They can be fined, incarcerated or sentenced to death for the gravest offences in some countries such as the US, Japan, China and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia among others. Corporal punishment is applied by teachers and parents in schools and in the family setting to encourage good behavior among children. The issue of punishment usually raises concerns in regard to the different understanding and application of punishment across different spheres in the society. Contentions arise in trying to determine the standards for determining the severity of a moral violation, and the punishment that fits it. This paper presents a critique of the moral principles that might be used to determine the match between moral violation and punishment.
Hart postulated some elements that may be used to justify punishment. For example, he argues that the punishment has to be for an offence that is contrary to the set of laws in a particular state and also has to be enforced and undertaken by an authority that is defined by a legal system, which the offender is in breach of (qtd. in Sverdlik, 180). This indicates that the punishment should only be based on particular rules that have been set and therefore punishment for offences that are beyond the legally known rules is not justifiable. This argument leaves teachers and parents in a position whereby they are not justified in regard to the punishments that they give to children. They punish the children depending on their perception regarding what is right or wrong. The appropriateness of the punishment is usually not clear and the legality of punishments in schools as well as at home is disputable. The same case applies in the punishments meted out on individuals who engage in antisocial behaviors in the society. For instance, mob justice is one of the punishments that the public resorts to after catching a suspected criminal. The punishment that