Utilitarian theoretical perspective<br />Evaluate actions how it affects the majority<br />Maximize happiness and minimize pain to collective good<br />"The principle of utility: the actions, rules, and institutions are justified only to the extent that they bring about the greater overall good" (Bentham, 1789).<br />
Retributive Justice<br />Evaluate actions based on the crime committed <br />Develops principles that create decisions that try to be just<br />Uses general principles to find justice<br />“In the case of retributive matching punishment where, to the extent feasible, the penalty inflicted on the wrongdoer is the same as the wrong or harm he did” (Nozick, 1981)<br />
Problems with Retributive Theory<br />Excessive emphasis on the past<br />Consequences might be too slight<br />
Utilitarian vs. Retributive Punishment: Similarities <br />Both theories discuss punishment<br />They both aim to give appropriate punishment<br />
Utilitarian vs. Retributive Punishment: Differences <br /> They differ because utilitarianism aims to deter future crime no matter what the circumstances surrounding the original crime<br />In contrast retributive justice aims for justice by considering all people involved<br />The goal of Utilitarianism is to create the ultimate happiness and pleasure while retributive justice acts to balance the justice of society <br />“The contrast between the two theories lies in the fact that for utilitarians the aim of punishment is to control future action, whereas the retributivists sees the aim in terms of desert” (Banks, 1981)<br />
Illustration of the two theories: Columbine Massacre<br />Events of the Columbine Massacre<br />
Punishment according to Utilitarianism<br />Death penalty would be the punishment imposed<br />This punishment would make potential shooters think twice before committing the crime<br />
Punishment according to Retributive Justice<br />Assuming the shooters were mentally ill the appropriate punishment would be that they would be institutionalized for the rest of their lives and they would receive psychological treatment<br />
Strengths and Weaknesses of Retributive Justice<br />Strength of Retributive Justice is that it takes into account the unique characteristics of the individual<br />Its weakness is the punishment might be too insufficiently strong to prevent the crime from happening in the future<br />
Strengths and Weaknesses of Utilitarianism<br />The strength is the consequences will reduce the future rate of crime<br />Its weakness is that it ignores the individual and doesn’t take any individual variables into consideration<br />Adapts with society's norms<br />
References <br /> Nozick, R. (2000 ). "Robert Nozick, 'Retribution and Revenge' from "Philosophical Explanations (1981)." In R. C. Solomon & M. C. Murphy (Eds.), What Is Justice?: Classic and Contemporary Readings. (pp. 212-215). New York: Oxford University Press [Web]. Retrieved from https://myasucourses.asu.edu<br /> <br /> Bentham, J. (2000 ). "Jeremy Bentham, 'A Utilitarian Theory of Punishment from "Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789)." In R. C. Solomon & M. C. Murphy (Eds.), What Is Justice?: Classic and Contemporary Readings. (pp. 215-220). New York: Oxford University Press [Web]. Retrieved from https://myasucourses.asu.edu<br /> <br /> Films for the Humanities and Sciences."Ethics: What is Right?" 2004. Online video clip. Arizona Universities Library Consortium. FMG Video On Demand. Retrieved from //digital.films.com.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/play/DZTSSQ <br /> <br />Harris, J. (2009). Punishment - Theories Of Punishment. New York, NY: [Web]. Retrieved from http://law.jrank.org/pages/9576/Punishment-THEORIES-PUNISHMENT.<br /> <br />Banks,C. (1981). Criminal Justice Ethics: Theory and Practice. [pp.149-172]. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books<br /> <br /> Silberfarb, M (2003-2004). Justifying Punishment for White-Collar Crime: A Utilitarian and Retributive Analysis of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; [pp.95]. Retrieved from http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?collection=journals&handle<br /> <br />Mill, J (1987). Utilitarianism and other essays. [pp.111-135, 147-155]. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books<br />
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