Crime and Punishment: Do you agree with the moral "crime does not pay"? Refer to at least two texts in your answer.

Essay by xxxnamelessxxxA-, May 2007

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The saying that “crime does not pay” lies at the heart of a great deal of literature and many films. It appears in a large number of fairy tales and children’s story. This is to teach children from an early age that it is wrong to commit a crime, no matter how small, and that every criminal is eventually punished. Of course this is not true, many crimes, especially smaller crimes, are never punished. This can either be because no one has discovered a crime was committed or because there was no punishment fit for the criminal. For instance, because the criminal wasn’t conscious of committing the crime (mentally retarded, been drugged etc), because he is a minor and has a clean record or even because he is dying or deceased. However the criminal can be punished by other members of society as well and/or instead of by law. This would be in the form of revenge.

Then there is self-inflicted punishment. Criminals often feel guilty and this can drive them to depression, sometimes leading them to inflict physical pain on themselves or to commit suicide. If the criminal is Christian or Moslem, he will also have to endure the thought of going to Hell. If the criminal is Hindu or Buddhist, he will know he is destroying his chance for a good rebirth, dirtying and ruining his karma, which will cause him to suffer for lifetimes to come. Criminal acts might in the short run satisfy them or fill their pockets, will in the long run, from a spiritual perspective, hurt the criminal. Indeed, in the long term, and from the moral and ethical, psychological and spiritual points of view, it appears to be almost always true that "Crime does not pay." Literature often portrays reality; therefore this moral...