The Punishment of Lesser Offenses: Too Severe or Necessary?
In recent years, there has been an increase in the severity of punishments for lesser offenses, leading some to question if such punishments are too severe or necessary. According to the New York Times, “The number of people incarcerated in the United States has increased sevenfold since 1970, with much of the increase due to sentencing for lesser offenses” (Crawford & Foderaro, 2018). This suggests that harsher punishments for minor offenses are a growing trend. However, there are many who feel that punishment for minor infractions is necessary for maintaining social order. A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that, when it comes to lesser offenses, “one of the most common explanations for punishment is the need to maintain social order” (Lawrence, 2020). Ultimately, it is difficult to make a general claim on the severity of punishments for lesser offenses. While some may feel that punishments are too severe, others may argue that such punishments are necessary for preserving social order. Further research is needed to determine if harsher punishments for minor offenses are indeed necessary, or if they should be reduced in order to better serve the needs of the community. Cont…
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