For as long as there has been a crime there has been punishments, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Yet, for as long as there have been these, there has also been questions as to why crime occurs or why do individuals commit crimes? There are many different theories as to why crime occurs, Neoclassical and Strain Theory are just a couple to name. However, the one that best answers why crime happens is the Classical theory.
In this theory was a product of the Enlightenment based on the assumption that people exercise free will and are thus completely responsible for their actions. In other words, a hungry man goes into a store and knowingly steals a bag of chips to eat, he know what he was doing and therefore he must own up and accept a punishment.
In the case of Charles Manson, Manson was charged with the killings of several people with the aide of four others (three were tried with him, one was tried separately). Manson killed several people with the idea to take out more. Manson was originally given the death penalty, however a judge later ruled that to be unconstitutional so he was instead given life in prison.
Manson had been a messed up individual since day one, his mother was sent to prison for armed robbery and tried to get Manson into a foster home, however the courts refused and sent him to Gibault School for Boys where he was always angry. Manson got involved in a lot of drugs during his teenage years and eventually tried a new drug called LSD. Manson and a group of his close friends which would later be infamously known as “the family” got together, dropped some LSD and tripped to the smooth sounds of the Beatles, pretty soon Manson came up with the idea that the Beatles were telling him to kill popular celebrities to bring the world to a state of bliss and in August 1969 Manson began his reign of terror.
People might try to argue that because of Manson’s past with his mother leaving him and being sent away that he did not know any better. Quite the contrary, Manson knew exactly what he was doing which was taking the lives of multiple individuals because he thought that the Beatles wanted him to. Manson’s punishment was unjust to the families of the victims because he is still alive he is still able to commit wrong doings in prison and may inflict further pain on another human. He should have received the death penalty.
The punishments given when following the Classical theory are simple, if a man kills another man, his punishment is death, if a man rapes someone, he should be given no less than 50 years. The policies to punishing people are simple, if this crime was commited against you, how long would you want the defendant to be locked away for (within reason), would you even want this person locked up? Is probation enough for the defendant to learn his
lesson? All of these questions would of course be left for the prosecutor or jury to decide.
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