Opinion Essays

A fixed punishment for each type of crime

Some people think that there should be a fixed punishment for each type of crime while others say the circumstances of a crime should be looked upon while deciding the punishment.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Model Solution

The debate on whether there should be a fixed punishment for every crime committed, or if the circumstances surrounding each individual case should be considered when deciding on a suitable punishment has been ongoing for many years. Both viewpoints have their merits and drawbacks, and this essay will analyse both sides of the argument.

A fixed punishment would remove any discrepancies that can occur when considering mitigating or aggravating factors of an offence. They also argue that having a standard set of punishments will deter people from committing crimes because they know the consequences they could face, thus reducing crime rates. On the other hand, opponents argue that no two crimes are identical, and therefore the punishment should be based on the unique circumstances of each situation. For example, someone who steals to feed their starving child should not face the same sentence as those who steal out of greed or because they are addicted to drugs. In such cases, alternative sentences like community service or treatment programs may be more effective in rehabilitation than just spending time behind bars.

Moreover, some aspects of a crime may only come to light once it is investigated by the authorities. The offender’s intention, degree of planning involved in carrying out a crime, and extent of harm caused by their actions may all vary significantly from one case to another. It is argued that fixed punishments simply cannot account for these nuances and differences between individual cases. Another drawback of a fixed penalty system is its inflexibility and failure to cater to change. Society changes rapidly over time; what might have been considered an egregious offence just decades ago may not cause much outrage now. Having rigid sentencing policies makes it difficult to adjust penalties according to changing societal values.

In conclusion, while having a fixed range of punishments does offer some advantages like consistency and deterrence against criminal behaviour in society, taking into account individual circumstances before sentencing can lead to greater fairness and effectiveness in achieving rehabilitation.

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