Crime rates are one of few factors disrupting the way of a country’s progress. It needs to be eradicated and many believe that fixing the similar punishment for all those who commit any kind of crime is the only way. While there are many, including me, who believe that punishment for all crimes should not be fixed. As we cannot reach a conclusion without viewing the whole situation, it is unfair to punish a person for a crime without inspecting the circumstances that led him to this act.
Punishment is not always the best course of action. When deciding the punishment of a person, the conditions and incentives of the person for committing it must be taken into account.
A crime is an act that violates the moral and political rule. Every government has a right to take action against the perpetrator but it is definitely not correct to give same punishment to all without knowing the nature of the crime. There are some violations that are done solely for oneself, in self-defense, and do not cause serious loss or damage to the state or its citizens. At the same time, it’s true that not even minor offense, something done against the law, should be neglected. I believe before punishing the alleged for his crime, the law should reflect on things that instigated a person to take this step.
For instance, it’s not precise to penalize a little poor child who steals food from a shop without listening to his point. An innocent and impecunious child whose sole purpose is to satisfy his hunger did not understand the laws of the state, how can someone blame him for this unfortunate state of misery? Eating is a basic instinct of human. It has been reported that mental illness in poor is higher than the opulent and well off persons that in turn leads to the crimes of theft and violence. Similarly, an educated person will never dare to take such step not under misery; hence rather than issuing the order of giving same punishment to all the criminals, the state should focus on eradicating the roots that lead people to crimes.
To add more validity to my point I couldn’t think of any better reference but Liesel Meminger. ‘The Book Thief’ is a novel that revolves around the story of a young girl ‘Liesel Meminger’ and the title ‘Book Thief’ is actually given to her. Yes, it’s right because she was a thief. She used to steal books from bonfire, snow and even from peoples’ house. A person who commits the illicit acts of murders, rapes or assaults someone, is called a criminal and when someone steals something it also comes in terms of crime like Liesel so is it fine to punish Liesel same like other criminals? Now, look at the circumstances behind her act. Liesel was a young girl who, unfortunately, was just 10 at the time of World War ii and living under Nazi’s regime. She saw sufferings of her family and death of her mother and brother just at the age of 9. Amidst all the destruction and horrific violence, only books become a source of comfort for her.
The answer is simple: every nation needs a system where the punishment fits the crime. Not less, not more. Sentences in each case should be given accordingly and this is what a Fair Just System does. Wrongdoing should be investigated whether it was done intentionally or not. The actual gravity of the crime should be put in front before reaching any conclusion.
There are always two sides of everything. Yes, there is an advantage of fixed punishment too and that is before committing a crime people would be aware of the results and would think before doing it. However, giving same punishment to every person for a crime is irrational and sometimes unjust. This system of fixing punishment can also promote a wrong message in public. People sometimes make mistakes without intentions and does not even realize that they have made an offense. Punishing him for something he didn’t mean to do would make the situation worse. He would become aggressive if given the same punishment as of a murderer. Moreover, it is not pragmatic to inflict a person with death plenty who has committed a murder in self-defense, to persecute a mentally ill patient for inflicting injury on the fellow human beings or to send a child to prison who steal due of his poverty.
I will wrap my essay off by saying that many people engross in various type of crimes. But nature and intentions behind each crime may be different. Giving the same punishment, as of a thief, to a kid for some minor offense, would turn the kid into an aggressive and bad person. Looking at the circumstances and motivation behind the crime and analyzing it all, is the best way to decide the punishment. Serial killer and the person who unknowingly killed someone in self-defense are totally two different people whose situations should be considered first. Otherwise, it might lead to an unfair judgment and an unjust system.