return to list of latest ideas

Single Idea 19869

[catalogued under 25. Society / C. Social Justice / 5. Right to Punish / a. Right to punish]

Full Idea

Each transgression may be punished to that degree, and with so much severity, as will suffice to make it an ill bargain to the offender, give him cause to repent, and terrify others from doing the like.

Gist of Idea

Punishment should make crime a bad bargain, leading to repentance and deterrence


John Locke (Second Treatise of Government [1690], 012)

A Reaction

I gather that the consensus among experts is that the biggest deterrence is a high likelihood of being caught, rather than the severity of the punishment.

Book Reference

Locke,John: 'Two Treatises of Government' [Everyman 1988], p.122