Share
Explore BrainMass

Just Desert

Arguments in favor of and arguments against just desert. State opinion on just desert.

Solution Preview

Hi,

Please see response below, which has been updated (also attached). I also attached two highly informative articles to get you started on this paper.

RESPONSE:

It is difficult when you first start a class for sure. It is gets easier though so not to worry.

Let's take a closer look through an outline, definition, and comparisons to other theories of crime and other information for you to consider for your final paper. I also attached two supporting and informative articles to draw on. Briefly, Simons (2000) explains the just desert theory in comparison to other theroies of crime, and makes a case for the just desert model. It is an retributive theory, as opposed to utilitarian, consequentialist, deterrence-oriented theories. The second article is an argument against the death penalty, and applies the just desert model to the death penalty for murder.

Your tentative outline might look something to the effect:

I. Introduction (e.g., about ¼- ½ page; introduce topic; include a thesis statement: E.g. Although some argue against the just desert model, it seems to the fairest model in terms of fitting the punishment to the crime)

II. Retribution Theory of Crime: The Just Desert Model (e.g., present about three arguments for or against).
a. Definition or explain the just desert model and what it is not (compare to other theories, such as utilitarian, deterrence-oriented, rehabilitation).

b. Three argument for the just desert theory (e.g. you might decide to position yourself against, so this is for illustrative purposes, or you might decide to use these three arguments for the model):
i. It is fair to the offender (punishment fits the crime; same punishment of all offenders for the same crime, etc.)
ii. It encompasses fir treatment both the vulnerable in society and victims, not only the offenders as some argue (see Simons, 2000, argument below and attached: On Equality_Bias Crimes and Just Deserts.pdf))
iii. Can explain the death penalty sufficiently for murder (see attached article: The case against the death pananlty.doc)

III. Conclusion (e.g., about ¼- ½ page; restate thesis in different words, and tie up main points of argument)

Now let's look at some information to help fill in the above tentative outline. You can also draw on the two attached articles. You will have to position yourself to either argue for or against the just desert model.

The just desert model is a retribution theory of crime. Specifically, the just desert model suggests that retribution justifies punishment because people deserve what they get for past deeds. Punishment based on deterrence or incapacitation is wrong from this stance because it involves an offender's future actions, which cannot accurately be predicted. Punishment should be the same for all people who commit the same crime. Criminal sentences based on individual needs or characteristics are inherently unfair because all people are equally blameworthy for their misdeeds (The Just Desert theory. Are you in favor or against it?)

Pojman and Reiman (1999) define and traces three prominent theories of punishment, including (1) retributive theories (includes the just desert model), which assess the nature of the offense and make punishment dependent on ...

Solution Summary

Explanation of 'just desert' and documented arguments in favor of and against just desert. Supplemented with two articles for expansion on just desert. Briefly, Simons (2000) explains the just desert theory in comparison to other theroies of crime e.g. utilitarian, consequentialist, deterrence-oriented theories, and makes a case for just desert.The second article is an argument against the death penalty, and applies just desert to the death penalty for murder.

$2.19