Classical and Rational Theory

Essay by sigmaman02University, Master's February 2006

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The classical school of thought was one of the first paradigms'. This paradigm is responsible for more humanistic view of the criminal justice system; However, it did not attempt to explain criminal behavior. This is extremely important because it focused all it attention on preventing crime and protecting society without this consideration. The classical school acted on the bases of crime and law and with the appropriate relationship its chief goal was to deter. This in itself demonstrated an extreme flaw in the classical school's paradigms. Because it made the assumption that a person possessed free will. With that being said, the only point in punishment was to deter crime. So under this, paradigm the only acceptable amount of punishment was that equal to the amount of pleasure that a criminal received from committing that crime. This also, facilitated the idea that by punishing a person to this degree he would not commit this crime again and by showing everyone else they would not commit the crime for fear of receiving the same punishment.

This led to the formation of much of our criminal law.

The paradigm of the classical school in my opinion is the driving force behind mandatory sentences. This was due to the fact that at that time many sentences were not being applied evenly across the board (rich, poor, famous, etc...). This severely reduce judicial discretion and allowed for the protection of the citizens civil rights. These broad solution to crimes without understanding criminal behavior led to vague explanations of a criminals.

This paradigm, however was confident in explaining a few criminals and a portion of society. This paradigm actually explains all the people in the world who have not committed crimes. Under this paradigm, it would be safe to say that many people...