Essay Sample on the Evolution of the American Punishment

Published: 2017-12-15
Essay Sample on the Evolution of the American Punishment
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  United States Punishment
Pages: 2
Wordcount: 420 words
4 min read

Punishment is a method of creating order in the society. For this reason, it has been applied since time immemorial to contain bad behavior and create order in the community. However, some forms of punishment used were harsher than others. For instance, although some of the penalty applied in the colonial America are similar to those used presently. Most of the ruling utilized in the past would be extreme in the current era (Dorpat, 2007). Early American punishment that would be intolerable today include stocks, pillory, whipping posts, ducking stool, and hanging ropes. These methods entailed torture that was focused on requesting a confession from the accused person. On the contrary, the present method includes incarceration, probation, parole, and restitution which are more humanly than the colonial techniques. The similarity, however, occurs in fines and bind outs where offender pays or works under someone for a specified time (Dorpat, 2007).

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The secular law entailed a political, religious, and social change trend that occurred in the America which purports neutrality regardless of the religious, or ethnic background. In the law, all citizens are treated equally. It sprouted with the formation of the States as more liberal turned up advocating for equal human rights (Beard, Ekelund, Ford, Gaskins, & Tollison, 2013). In particular, secularism looked to acquire equal chances for people who were breaking away from religion. The law eliminates religious fanaticism allowing people to think and act freely. Moreover, everyone has an opportunity to believe as they desire. Despite the positive influence of the law, secularism has hurt the American society as it records the highest immorality and obscenity that even the musician use openly (Beard, Ekelund, Ford, Gaskins, & Tollison, 2013).

Early forms of punishment were executed for several reasons. The judges punished the offenders as an example to the community, warning others to avoid committing the same crime. Also, the judgment was intended to shame the lawbreaker in the society, inflict pain, and demand a confession (Dorpat, 2007). Today, most of the punishments focus on rehabilitating the offender to a better person that can be accepted in the society. The other reason that is similar to those of the early times include revenge in the case of execution and to inflict pain through caning (Dorpat, 2007).


Beard, R. T., Ekelund, R. B., Ford, G. S., Gaskins, B., & Tollison, R. D. (2013). Secularism, Religion, and Political Choice in the United States. Politics and Religion, 753-777.

Dorpat, T. L. (2007). Crimes of Punishment: America's Culture of Violence. Crimes of Punishment.

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