How Punishments for a Crime are Determined?

An accused found guilty of a crime is given punishment in the court of law. The type of punishment depends on the offense and its repercussions. The Judge decides the punishment after the verdict of the jury. The punishment could be a fine or jail sentence, etc.

Society has created a system of punishments for criminal activities to build a safe and harmonious community. Each criminal offense is judged and punishments are determined based on certain approaches.

Punishments for crimes are guided by the following approaches:

  • Retribution:

    This is an approach where the punishment meted out depends on the severity of the crime. It is essentially an eye for an eye kind of an approach for determining the punishment. Supporters of the retribution approach believe that true justice is only delivered when the criminal has paid a price for the crime.

  • Deterrence:

    The objective behind this approach is to create fear so that such crimes are not committed. The deterrence punishment can be of two types. A specific deterrence punishment focuses on the individual guilty of having committed the crime. A severe punishment is meted out to the guilty individual so that he refrains from committing similar crimes. General deterrence punishment is given to a guilty person to indicate to the public the consequence of committing such acts.

  • Rehabilitation:

    The purpose of this type of punishment is to reform the criminal so that he does not commit such crimes. A rehabilitation program includes educational and vocational programs, mental health counseling, etc. This approach aims at transforming the mindset of the criminal during his jail sentence so that he does not commit crimes after being released.

  • Incapacitation:

    This is one of the oldest approaches according to which the criminal is removed from society. This could be through a jail sentence, house arrest, and in certain cases death sentence. This approach of punishing the guilty is not popular in many countries since no effort is made in the direction of rehabilitation of the criminal. Most societies are now of the view that the guilty individual must be given a chance to reform so that he overcomes a criminal mindset.

  • Restoration:

    It is one of the most modern approaches to punishing the criminal. The restoration approach demands that the criminal make direct amends to the victim of the crime or the community where the crime took place. The criminal spends time with the victim to understand the pain and suffering he experienced because of the crime. He then performs actions that can in some way provide relief and solace to the victim. In this manner, he tries to alleviate the pain of the victim and seek forgiveness. This approach is especially used for juvenile offenders.

These approaches help determine the appropriate punishment for a crime so that others in society refrain from committing crimes while the criminal is either punished severely or rehabilitated to enhance the quality of his life.

Criminal defense lawyers are aware of these approaches used by judges for punishing criminals. Hence, they choose the most effective defense strategies to help the defendant.

Autrey law firm has the best criminal attorneys to represent you in case you are accused of a crime!