AMU Theories of Crime Classical Criminology Beccaria Work Discussion

American Military University

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Classical criminology
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Question 1.
Beccaria work on crime punishment and sentencing still exist in the modern penal code.
Its approach rational calculation of cost-benefits is still practiced in the modern days when
exercising justice. The idea of Beccaria is that the cost that is impacted by the crime should be
proportional to the kind of punishment passed by the judges. The aim of Beccaria was to ensure
that the sentenced given to any crime was to deter the criminal from repeating the same offence
which is applicable in the modern justice practice (Bernard et al., 2010). For instance, in a modern
criminal justice system, criminals are often sentenced by the law in order to limit the reoccurrence
of the crime. An example of criminal who has committed murder is sentenced to a life
imprisonment to minimize the risk of the same occurrence. Therefore, Beccaria work is still
embodied in the current penal code and scheme because his emphasis that the law has to be
established is a practice that is done by many countries to create awareness and inform the people
on the penalty per the crime committed.
Question 2
Deterrence research was done by classical thinkers on the homicide cases. According to
the finding, Gibbs stated that greater severity and certainty led to fewer homicide cases. Their
impact on homicidal effect had a 2:1 ratio where certainty effect was double the severity effect.
Findings also stated that application of both Certainty and severity may deter homicide, i.e.
murder. Actually, with police having the record of crimes and the type of punishment served by
those admitted to prison in the previous year was the best way to deter homicides (Bernard et al.,
This finding can be explained checking the variations in the police records i.e. if the police
record indicates that many offences are handled without making an official record then there will



be a few crime cases and greater certainty of imprisonment because the higher the severity i.e.
More offences are recorded the higher the level of imprisonment. On the other hand, when more
records are kept, the jurisdiction will have more crime rate but less certainty since criminal case
won’t be serious then there will be no imprisonment.
Question 3
Specific deterrence is the application of punishment for criminal activity with the intention
of discouraging or deterring a specific individual from committing the same offence. Its main
objective is to convince the criminal who committed the crime from breaking the law in the future.
General deterrence is impacting punishment to a certain crime with an intention of making the
public at large to think twice about breaking the law.
The general deterrence effect of the death penalty is increase in murder rates and whereby
those who are executed serves shorter sentence, than those who are non-death penalty and serves
a longer prison sentences with no execution. So, with high murder rate, use of death sentences and
shorter prison sentences is viewed to the public as a low valuation of human life and therefore the
most general deterrable effect that will deter homicide is the longer prison sentence (Stafford, M.
C., & Warr, M.,1993).
Question 4
A deterrable offender is an offender who belong to group that are affected by the threat of
sanction and severity has a larger effect on behavior relative to certainty. These offenders are often
motivated by the need of economic utility satisfaction. This is based on rationality where an
individual act rational with the aim of increasing its benefits and minimize loses. Therefore,
offenders will act in a manner that increase their be...

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