Death penalty as a punishment for crimes


CRJU-4032-02F – Criminal Behavior



Death penalty as a punishment for crimes

M2 Discussion Activity Do the Schools Apply Today
Discussion Instructions

This week’s topic is the different schools of thought in the history of criminology. One thing we should consider is how relevant these ideas are today. Both of the questions below focus on an idea from one of the schools discussed and asks you to consider how the ideas apply today. For this discussion, please answer one of the following questions.

1. Cesare Lombroso, William Sheldon, and others in the school of Biological Determinism believed that the physical traits of individuals caused their behavior. For a long period of time, these ideas fell out of favor, but they are once again gaining popularity. If we find that criminality and deviance is caused by physical traits in a person, how do we go about reducing and preventing crime? What policies would you put into effect to reduce criminal behavior? How do you make the people with these traits stop committing crimes?

2. The key principles of Beccaria’s On Crimes and Punishment were summarized in the lecture presentation for this module. An additional idea posed by Beccaria discussed in the text is the abolition of the death penalty. Beccaria thought this was barbaric and inhumane and should be done away with. Today, the United States is one of the few industrialized nations to continue to utilize the death penalty as a punishment for crimes. Do you think the fact that we have the death penalty stops people from committing crimes? Does the death penalty have a deterrent effect on crime…why or why not?

In addition, to receive full credit for the discussion, you will also have to respond to at least one classmate’s post. Examples of possible responses:
o Ask classmate for clarification on the post

o Challenging a peer’s comment (support your reason)

o Do you agree or disagree with their opinion? Why agree/disagree?

Death penalty as a punishment for crimes



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