The death penalty is a widely discussed issue in the United States. Should the government still impose the death penalty for certain crimes? Or should the punishment be life imprisonment? This essay will discuss the different viewpoints on the death penalty and life imprisonment.
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To sum up, the prisons has to be legitimate with the public, the penal staff and the penal subjects. It is not the role of the people to give the justification: they should be clear and obvious. This essay have shown that prisons are a really important issue in our society: the use of imprisonment has increased as courts have been committing more offenders to prisons with longer sentences. The society gives some justification about it but our attitude toward penal institutions is ambiguous. Sociology helps to understand it better, highlighting the role of the social contract and the issue money and power. But some theorists try to find some alternatives to custody e.g. the abolitionists or others, who have brand ideas but that have to be critically evaluated. If prisons are ineffective, too cruel, incoherent or too expensive, since corporal punishment is not acceptable anymore and because killing people is a morally problematic, it is essential to consider the new initiatives in punishment. Because what is really striking is the fact that “prisons exist and continue to be used, but there is no coherent or overarching framework explaining why we have them, how they should be organised and what they should do with offenders.” (Smith and Natalier 2005, p.175).