and fit the nature of the crime. On this premise, non- violent thefts, would be
met with fines whereas violent thefts would be met with a combination of
corporal punishment and penal servitude, as if punishment is too severe, the
offender may seek to evade it by committing further crime and this may just
encourage other criminals to try harder to avoid detection. Equally, the show of leniency in the system
leads to the belief that citizens are likely to deem the chances of being
punished very low. The German- born American political theorist Hannah Arendt
famously said that “No punishment has
ever possessed enough power of deterrence to prevent the commission of crimes.”
She alludes that punishment must be more severe in order to serve as an
effective deterrence. As a rebuttal to this point, the free thinkers of the
academic world reported that the abolishment of the death penalty had no impact
on the murder rates in the USA and UK respectively. Therefore, the severity of
punishment could be seen to have little impact on the offending rates, and so
other factors must be involved in the ‘decision to commit a crime.