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Morality of punishment - Essay Example

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Morality of Punishment Instructor Name June 3, 2013 Introduction It has long been considered the right of a leader to punish or inflict pain of some kind on one in response to criminal acts (Kant, & Gregor,). While there are distinguishing and defining differences in what is thought to be better suited for civil versus criminal court crimes are also separated by the character of the individual…
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Morality of punishment

It is important to note that punishment should not be used as to serve an example but as fitting and appropriate for a criminal action. In any criminal proceeding, there is the burden of proof which most often falls upon the victim. It is known that in many circumstances hatred and thoughts of revenge are acceptable in the most heinous of criminal acts (Murphy). In questions of morality, we must examine the victim’s response to the action; does this response indicate to us some degree of what the victim has suffered in order to determine an appropriate deterring punishment? Victim hatred in most cases would lead the justice system more towards a retributive system and in securing these interests more libertarian beliefs may allow for social contractors to maintain a system of revenge beyond what is allowed. Herbert Morris is grounded in his belief that we have the right to punish as well as the criminal right to be punished (Morris). In claiming the right to be free we are in as much agreeing to the doctrines and laws that must followed in order to allow one to remain free. This paper will review and discuss some of the morality issues, questions, and beliefs concerning punishment from several angles. Morality of Punishment To distinguish punishment as an entity that is well defined and definitive is impossible. It is thought by Hegel that free will is such a thing that can have visible existence though it is realized only in the moment or instance that it is manifested; such as in violent actions, force, or in the decision to devoid other’s rights (Hegel, p 87, 2001). Free will is something considered destroyed by violent actions and a principle that is canceled by violence. It is the nature of the human mind to value honor above most other attributes. Kant states that those who commit murder should be inflicted the ultimate punishment of death yet in opposition of this humanity asserts that any capital punishment is wrongful and violates a contact of justice and civil behavior (Kant, & Gregor). Punishment is not suffered because one has willed it to be so; rather the individual has willed a punishable action. Crime is a negative judgment in its complete sense; while the right to injure is available, the consequences and punishments are defined. Injury is a right of the criminal and the expression of their inherent will demonstrates the freedom and liberties that are granted (Hegel) It is both reasonable and just that punishments are established and connected with violations of the rights of others (Morris). Those who violate established rules have renounced self-control or self-restraints. It is seen by some that Americans may do as they please provided there is no one willing or able to prove that their actions are fundamentally wrong. This creates situations where victims fall prey to the system and are accounted for by the burden of proof. This in itself constitutes the re-victimizing of a victim. Are criminals granted the right to be protected and shielded from the potential hate and desire for strong revenge from victims? Is this a constitutional or fundamental right that should be ensured in severe cases of victimization? Are victims expected to show little emotion, anger, rage or hatred towards their violator? (Murphy) Those intent on arguing against hatred and rage will state the emotions involved in these situations are ... Read More
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