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SOC 120 week 6 assignment Punishment Research Paper

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Punishment Research Paper 1
Running head: PUNISHMENT RESEARCH PAPER
Punishment Research Paper
Dawnette Dunkley
University of Phoenix
Sociology--120
Instructor: Loren Butler

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Punishment Research Paper 2
Punishment Research Paper
Throughout history and in every era, American society struggles to find adequate punishments
to address deviant and criminal behaviors. The reality is, punishment is an inherent part of
people’s lives; it manifests itself in the way parents reprimand children, teaching them about
responsibility, accountability, and consequences as well as in the way the judicial system
punishes offenders. Unlike Iran that amputates systematically the arm(s) of people accused of
stealing; the American justice system provides less severe ways in which to address similar
offenses. In the United States, the severity of the punishment is based usually on the degree of
the offense, which ranges between paying fines, probation, imprisonment, or execution. Yes,
America has had its share of seemingly barbaric punishments for crimes, as its last public
execution was only 73 years ago, with the public execution of Rainey-Bethea. Four different
types of justification for punishment in American society include retribution, deterrence,
rehabilitation, and societal protection. Even though each of these justifications for punishment
helps to reduce crime rates in society, each has its share of controversy, with both advantages and
drawbacks. The concept of punishment evolves overtime and garners both supporters and
detractors, as proponents and opponents argue whether punishment do more harm than good.
Assessment of punishment continues to be a hot button issue in American society today;
therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of each of these four types of
punishments as they relate to today’s American society. Additionally, the purpose is to discuss
which of these types of punishment deters crimes most effectively; furthermore, it will discuss
whether consequences of punishment provide any benefits for criminals or society.

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