VIEWS OF PUNISHMENT: CLASSICAL AND POSITIVIST
POSITIVIST AND CLASSICAL PUNISHMENT
Unit 2 IP
CRJS335 - 1404B - 01
Dr. Edward Hale
During the eighteenth century the enlightenment theory emerged which would pave the way for classical criminology. Until classical criminology was introduced, offenders were believed to be committing crimes because they were sinners and/or possessed by the devil. Because of this belief the punishment was intended to remove evil from the offender's soul and the law of religion was used mostly against the poor of the population.
These laws gave those who were accused of a crime little or no protection and by the use of torture a confession was wretched from the accused while punishments were mostly unreasonable and cruel.
The classical approach to punishment allows that the offender makes the rational choice to commit crimes and the offender makes the decision based on the pleasure would outweigh the pain of being punished.
The offender uses free will when they choose to engage in criminal behavior. In response, the punishment or deterrent should slightly outweigh what the offender had gained. This has had a great impact on today's criminal justice system (Blomberg, T. G., & Lucken, K., 2010).
This is also the reasoning classical thinkers condemn the death penalty. The classical approach believes the death penalty does not deter certain crimes because the punishment should just slightly outweigh the gain.
The positivist approach to punishment focuses more on the reason why an offender commits a crime. This approach does not support that all individuals have a choice or free will, but instead supports an offenders behavior is due to biological defects and/or abnormalities. These defects rob the offender of their free will and therefore are the cause of...