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Classical Theory Utilitarianism

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Classical Theory- Utilitarianism. Classical Criminology comes from the ... Bentham was one of the philosophical founders of Utilitarianism. Jeremy Bentham ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Classical Theory Utilitarianism


1
Classical Theory- Utilitarianism
  • Classical Criminology comes from the Utilitarian
    views contemporary to the mid-eighteenth century
  • Cartesian Dichotomy (Rene Descartes 1596-1650)
  • Power and Reasoning are divine gifts, setting Man
    apart from any other form of life
  • Man had free will
  • All Human conduct was an exercise of this free
    will
  • Behavior had to be useful, purposeful and
    reasonable

2
Classical Theory-Deterrence
  • The premise of Classical Theory are based on a
    persons rational exercise of free will
  • Persons who obey or break the law calculate the
    amount of pleasure derived from the act versus
    the amount of pain if punished for the act.

3
Classical Theory
  • If a person believes the legal penalty threatens
    more pain than the gain, they will not commit the
    crime
  • Their calculation is based on
  • Own experience with punishment
  • The likelihood they will get caught
  • Their knowledge of the law
  • Their awareness of what punishment has been given
    in the past

4
Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794)
  • Pain Avoidance and fear of punishment would
    discourage a crime violator
  • In order for a criminal to fear punishment, the
    punishment had to be clearly stated

5
Cesare Beccaria
  • All criminals should receive identical
    punishments Regardless of age, sanity, wealth,
    position or circumstance
  • Punishment for crimes should be determined in
    advance
  • The penalty should be severe enough to overcome
    the pleasures.

6
Beccaria
  • Dei delitti e elle pene or A Treatise on Crime
    and Punishment
  • Eventually modified so that children and
    lunatics were exempted from punishment
  • Beccaria is credited with eliminating torture and
    severe punishment (like hanging for petit
    larceny)
  • Beccaria advocated ridding the justice system of
    corruption

7
Cesare Beccaria
  • Certainty and Celerity
  • The more immediately after the commission of a
    crime a punishment is inflicted, the more just
    and useful it will be

8
Jeremy Bentham
  • Beccaria was Italian. In Italy, his ideas were
    not warmly received
  • Jeremy Bentham (1742-1832), philosopher and
    jurist, supported The Classical School in
    England.
  • Bentham was one of the philosophical founders of
    Utilitarianism

9
Jeremy Bentham
  • Agreed with the Deterrence Theory Doctrine
  • for each crime a punishment whose pains would
    outweigh any possible pleasure to be gained from
    them and by assuring the certain and swift
    administration of justice, rational men, deterred
    by the realization that a net loss will
    inevitably result from the criminal act, will
    refrain from breaking the law.

10
Classical School
  • If the Punishment most fit the crime does that
    mean that pain for gain is the same for
    everyone?
  • Does this mean that legislature should have an
    exact scale of crimes with an exact scale of
    punishments?

11
Specific Deterrence
  • If I know that when I was caught the first time,
    I was severely punished. I do not want that
    again.

12
General Deterrence
  • The punishment for that crime is rather severe.
    I would not commit that crime because I do not
    want that.

13
Deterrence Doctrine
  • The philosophical foundation for western criminal
    law

14
Modern Adaptations
  • Blumstein (1978)
  • longer sentences, if not a deterrent, will keep
    an inmate in longer
  • President Clinton Violent Crime Control Act and
    Law Enforcement Act of 1994
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