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Anita Lam (1)

SOSC 2650

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 2650
Anita Lam

BECCARIA - Classical theorist – emphasizes the rejection of spiritual/religious explanations of crime in favour of the view that offenders use their reason – assessment of costs & benefits in deciding a potential act pays & should be therefore pursued - classical school argued that the criminal law could be reformed so that it would be fair (everyone treated equally) & just punitive enough to dissuade people from breaking the law (the crime would not be profitable) - all individuals possess freewill and rationality - it is necessity that forces men to give up a part of their liberty - justice is a bond which is necessary to keep the interest of individuals unites – all punishments which exceed the necessity of preserving this bond are in their nature unjust - the means made use of by the legislature to prevent crimes should be more powerful in proportion as they are destructive of the public safety & happiness – there ought to be a fixed proportion between crimes & punishments - crimes are to be estimated by the injury done to society - the more immediately after the commission of a crime a punishment is inflicted, the more just & useful it will be - the degree of the punishment & the consequences of a crime ought to have the greatest possible effect on others with the least possible pain to the delinquent - immediate punishment is more useful – the smaller the interval of time between the punishment & the crime, the stronger & more lasting the association of the two ideas of crime & punishment - men in general commit crime because of a sudden gust of passion - better to deter men who have committed smaller crimes so as to effectively prevent the greater - crimes are more effectually prevented by the certainty & severity of the punishment - punishment should be public, immediate, necessary, the least possible in the case given, and proportioned to the crime & determined by laws the classical school: criminal as calculator - classical school of thought emphasizes the individual criminal as a person who is capable of calculating what he or she wants to do - was supported by a philosophy that held that humans had free will & that behaviour was guided by hedonism – individuals were guided by a pain & pleasure principle which they calculated the risks & rewards involved in their actions - punishment should be suited to the offense not to the social or physical characteristics of the criminal Beccaria’s view: - individuals gave up some of their liberty & established a contractual society – established the sovereignty of a nation & allowed the nation to create criminal law & punish offenders - because criminal laws placed restrictions on individuals freedoms they should be restricted in scope - the presumption of innocence should be the guiding principle in the administration of justice - the complete criminal law code should be written & should define all offenses & punishments in advance - punishment should be based on retributive reasoning because the guilty had attacked another individual’s rights - the severity of the punishment should be limited & should not go beyond what is necessary for crime prevention & deterrence - criminal punishment should correspond with the seriousness of the crime – the punishment should fit the crime not the criminal - punishment must be a certainty & should be inflicted quickly - punishment should not be administered to set an example and should not be concerned with reforming the offender - the offender should be viewed as an independent & reasonable person who weighted the consequences of the crime - the aim of every good system
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