Essay Sample on Philosophy in Criminal Justice

Published: 2022-09-28
Essay Sample on Philosophy in Criminal Justice
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Philosophy Criminal justice
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1322 words
12 min read

Criminal justice in the philosophy of law is mainly concerned with punishments made to individuals who knowingly cause bad events either directly or indirectly. Criminals are punished for causing, attempting, or risking the harms and wrongs made to the society. Besides, some things are critical to the individual's deservingness of punishment such as their culpability (Alexander et al. 12). Just like any other theories, criminal justice has some philosophical issues that affect it. The punishments made in the domain of criminal justice include retributive, consequentialist, and threat-based. The various legal punishments in criminal law are dependent on purpose, knowledge, and recklessness in various ways for the justification of the guiltiness or innocence of a victim.

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The mental states involved with the psychology of criminal justice include purpose, knowledge, and recklessness. On the other hand, negligence and strict liability are the other non-mental states that liaise with criminal justice. These concepts are not culpable mental states and tend not to provide any evidence regarding the negative desert. They can as well not assist in justifying a punishment even at the points where risks have been made. The kinds of punishments in these cases made convictions more specific, even though deters the culpable actors. However, similar negative consequences are produced as well. Purpose comes in when crime brings in a result such as death (Herring 12). When justified as a circumstance, the element of a crime can be seen as synonymous with belief in its existence. For instance, a case of killing a victim with the belief that they are police officers has committed a crime even though it was not at their will to kill a police officer. No one can be punished for a crime for which he/she is found guilty or conduct that was not evaluated and found criminal even though turned out to be criminal at a later stage. Legality and prospectively are two of the common domains in the philosophy of criminal justice that start a criminal desert, which justifies legal punishment. Two absences are immaterial to the negative desert of the criminals, and these include the criminal statute and a statutorily enacted prohibition.

On the other hand, the element of knowledge in criminal justice refers to the belief that there is an existence of a criminal element where the element is a result of the conduct of the actor (Bloy and Philip 14). Some circumstances make opinions of crimes done hard for the actor to make a decision even though they could be excused of their wrongs. Their moral reasons that look at the side of crime commitment tend to dominate the reasons that are against committing that crime. In this case, they cannot be deemed of deserving to be punished for their wrongs, even though their choice reflects a rational agency. Such a case can be deemed as a defense to criminal charges.

Finally, the concept of purpose exists where there is a requirement that the actor is conscious of their actions. Here, attitude is considered more than belief. Voluntary acts are necessary for any crime, which are body movements of one who controls his willing. Again, no punishments can be made for thoughts or intentions, as no hard evidence could lead to the justification of punishment. Additionally, there can be no punishment for status as far as the same is not within the domain of a voluntary act (Herring 50). Other factors tend to bear on the voluntariness of acts that also bear on culpability. These factors tend to neglect or not take into concern the access to reason as well as control. In this case, an individual can be seen as non-culpable if they act in the ways that are culpable but out of their conscious mind (Alexander et al. 15). The same case can be linked to him who cannot control their impulse. Therefore, any culpability act is a reflection of a voluntary act from a similar perspective.

Various issues encompass a voluntary act, and these may include the requirements of the act, and the whys and hows of liability for omissions. For omissions to be done, the duties that fall within a legitimate scope of criminal law are considered as well as the issues concerned with the negative desert. Additionally, it is also immaterial to have a liability that turns on a failure to act rather than the act itself. There are conditions that defeat voluntariness and these include the consciousness or the psychology of the subjects. These may include hypotonic trace, automatism, or sleepwalking. In case of an action, the subject could not be responsible as a result of his in-access of reasons for action or the control of willing. The acts that are performed without the conscience of a habit dines are also considered voluntary as they are seen as having been controlled by the attention of the doer hence, their involvement at a psychological level.

In regards to recklessness, many issues are swirling around the domain of psychology. For instance, how subjective recklessness can be is a domain of the culpable mental state (Alexander et al. 27). For instance, if the actor risks more on killing someone to get a cup of coffee, the entire concept can be seen as immaterial. However, if the actor believed in creating a risk as a result of a mistake about a fact, they can be termed as reckless. Therefore, they would still deserve equal treatment to individuals who may have committed other crimes. The risks existing between conduct can vouch for the terms 'recklessness' and 'attempted recklessness.' The subjectivity of recklessness is also determined by the requirement that the risk of the actor's belief of a substantial claim is also a connection of the unjustifiable.

A satisfied voluntary act requirement affects culpability to some extent. The psychology of the mind is exhibited in this case. For one to be culpable of their thoughts, there should be some thinking, and mental actions, which are eligible for culpability. The culpability domain of criminal justice can be separated from a voluntary act requirement. Every voluntary action can be deemed culpable, and each condition, in this case, tends to negate the voluntary act as well as culpability at the same time (Alexander et al. 16). For instance, there is a separate requirement that a voluntary act can be proved, which is included within the proving of a culpable act. However, this could be a proper perspective for criminals hence, a limit where the voluntary act is folded into culpability inquiry hence, their separation. For example, an epileptic driver charged of driving off a sleepwalking client's car could have done the action voluntarily. Even though the act could be an innocent one to the driver, as far as there is a culpable act, punishment is, therefore, reserved for the driver. In the case where there is no culpable act, a voluntary act cannot justify the punishment in any case. Therefore, a voluntary but non-culpable act cannot justify a punishment.

Therefore, purpose, knowledge, and recklessness tend to lead to the same moral of an insufficient concern regarding the interests of other people. If there is the presence of a conscious object that there is damage to the interests or certainty of damage, then there would probably be an insufficient concern. Criminal culpability can be expedient for the fact that it allows individuals to make sense of various culpabilities (Yaffe 20). The criminal could preserve their ignorance by refraining from further investigation of the belief that there is an element of crime in their case. In this case, further investigations would have led to additional knowledge hence, an inconsistency of knowledge within them.

Works cited

Alexander, Larry, et al. Crime and Culpability: A Theory of Criminal Law. Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Bloy, Duncan J., and Philip Parry. Principles of Criminal Law. Cavendish, 2000.

Herring, Jonathan. Criminal Law. Palgrave Macmillan Education, 2017.

Yaffe, Gideon. The Age of Culpability: Children and the Nature of Criminal Responsibility. Oxford University Press, 2018.

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