Should The Major Crimes Be Punished By The Most Final Of All Sentences?

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Punishing criminal activities has always been a challenging task for society as it is always difficult to determine the most suitable punishment for heinous crimes. Arguably, there is no such thing as the major crime. All crimes that happen in society are necessitated by the social conditions that people are exposed to in the course of their lives. Societal forces and events influence all crimes.

Penal scholars have struggled to determine the most appropriate punishment to mete against some of the crimes happening in society (Currie, 2013). These efforts have not always provided solutions to the problem of crime. Using the final sentences is not an appropriate solution to the increasing incidences of crime in society. Notably, some individuals commit crimes without intending to, yet they have a good record in the community (Gromet & Darley, 2009). When such people are involved in heinous crimes, it has always been difficult to determine how best to punish them and ensure that they do not re-offend.

Offenders with a clean record have commonly lacked enough funds to acquire competent legal representation, and they find themselves convicted of crimes that they didn’t intend to commit (Currie, 2013). There is sufficient evidence from various studies proving that severe punishment do not deter future criminal activities. Subjecting an offender to a lengthy prison sentence does not necessarily help in rehabilitating him or her, but it exposes them to the risk of reoffending (Durlauf & Nagin, 2011; Petersen et al., 2012). Harsher penalties harden criminals and places them at the risk of recidivism.

Conclusively, it is not possible to keep violence off the streets by exposing non-violent offenders to harsh sentences. For instance, there is a risk of overcrowding prisons by pushing offenders to serve long sentences. Prison is like a school of crime where prisoners are hardened. Instead of exposing suspects to harsher penalties, the criminal justice system needs to use therapeutic interventions by advocating for community sentences. More stringent penalties do not take into consideration the needs of the victims.


Currie, E. (2013). Crime and punishment in America. MacMillan.

Durlauf, S. N., & Nagin, D. S. (2011). Imprisonment and crime: Can both be reduced?.    Criminology & Public Policy, 10(1), 13-54.

Gromet, D. M., & Darley, J. M. (2009). Punishment and beyond: Achieving justice through the    satisfaction of multiple goals. Law & Society Review, 43(1), 1-38.

Petersen, M. B., Sell, A., Tooby, J., & Cosmides, L. (2012). To punish or repair? Evolutionary     psychology and lay intuitions about modern criminal justice. Evolution and Human      Behavior, 33(6), 682-695.

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