Crime and Punishment

Isolability in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

Though its many pages and complex themes and ideas may be frustrating to undergraduate students, it cannot be denied that Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment is anything less than a literary masterpiece. It explores a myriad of themes – the psychology of crime, nihilism, poverty, the idea of a “superman,” transcendent Christian values, the journey to redemption, alienation from society. While isolation may not be quite as apparent as a few of these other themes, it is equal, perhaps even superior, in importance. Indeed, it may be said that it is isolation that causes Raskolnikov, the protagonist, to commit his crimes and then it is isolation that ultimately leads him to the beginnings of his journey to redemption.

Raskolnikov, an impoverished student who is entertaining the nihilistic ideals that were sweeping St. Petersburg during his time, is in a severe place of isolation. He lives in relentless poverty which separates him from the majority of society. He has one only friend, Razumikhin, and he does not appear to cultivate a close or meaningful relationship with Razumikhin. The relationship with his own mother and sister is also one that is strained and distant. Additionally, he has begun to subscribe to ideals that, by their very nature, will isolate him from society because they place little to no value on other humans and they place him in a different category than other humans. Thus, his isolation from society is both practical and ideological. Oddly enough, the very factor that caused him to commit his horrendous crimes, isolation, is the concept that brings him to redemption. First, he needs to acknowledge the evil in his actions and feel remorse, regret and guilt as a result. Then, he needs to repent of his crimes and suffer for his crimes as an act of restitution. These two processes will bring him to redemption, but they are internal battles. Ultimately, internal battles must be fought alone – they must be fought in isolation.

Raskolnikov’s isolation from society is firstly demonstrated in a practical sense. One of the very first things we learn about him is that he is “over his head in debt to the landlady” and that he is “so badly dressed that another man, even an accustomed one, would have been ashamed to go out in such rags during the daytime” (Dostoevsky 3-4). This is the description of a man who is enduring extreme poverty. Poverty, in and of itself, is something that creates distance and separation for a few simple reasons. For one, a person who lives in poverty is a person who must spend the majority of his/her time and his/her mental and physical energy attempting to get and to keep the basic things necessary for survival. This makes for a person who has little time or energy to devote to the cultivation of meaningful relationships. Additionally, poverty is something that tempts people to accept crime as something that is not so bad because it may be necessary for survival. Indeed, one of the things that makes Raskolnikov’s crime more appealing to him is the potentiality of acquiring a little extra money. And crime necessarily dehumanizes or at least devalues other people in the mind of the criminal, because it makes use of another person as a means to an end, rather than the person being an end in and of himself/herself. Thus, Raskolnikov, as an extremely poor individual, is shown to be separated from society.

A second example of Raskolnikov’s isolation from society is the utter lack of a social life. He is young, he is a student, he is described to be good looking and intelligent. There is no reason why he should not have friends and a romantic relationship or two. But the only friend to whom we are introduced in this novel is Razumikhin and it is noted that Raskolnikov “had almost no friends while he was at the university, kept aloof from everyone, visited no one, and had difficulty receiving visitors;” however, “he became close with Razumikhin–that is, not really close, but he was more sociable, more frank with him” (51). Their relationship is portrayed as a very strained one and they argue frequently. At one point during the sickness that followed Raskolnikov’s crimes, during which Razumikhin made great efforts to help him, they bump into one another on a porch and are surprised to see one another and the interchange that follows is painfully pregnant with hurt and anger:

“So here’s where you!” he shouted at the top of his lungs. “Ran away from your sick-bed! And I even looked for you under the sofa! We went to the attic! I almost gave Nastasya a beating because of you … And here’s where he is! Rodka! What is the meaning of this! Tell the whole truth! Confess! Do you hear?”

“It means that I’m sick to death of all of you, and I want to be alone,” Raskolnikov replied calmly.

“Alone? When you still can’t walk, when your mug is white as a sheet, and you can barely breathe! Fool! … What were you doing in the ‘Crystal Palace’? Confess immediately!”

“Let me be!” said Raskolnikov, and he tried to pass by. This now drove Razumikhin into a rage: he seized him firmly by the shoulder” (Dostoevsky 166).

This is just one example of a bitter fight between the two of them. The significance here is that Razumikhin wants to help Raskolnikov through his sickness and he wants to be there for him, but Raskolnikov refuses. Raskolnikov insists on being alone; he wants to isolate himself, even from the one friend that he does have.

Raskolnikov’s relationship with his mother and sister is similar to his relationship with Razumikhin. It is not so full of contempt and argumentation, but it is equally distant and equally strained. It is evident from the letter that his mother sends to him, the contents of which include the details of a proposal of marriage for his sister, that they do not frequently see or hear from one another. Indeed, she says that “it is over two months now since I’ve spoken with you in writing, and I myself have suffered from it, and even spent some sleepless nights thinking. But you surely will not blame me for this unwilling silence of mine” (Dostoevsky 30). And then, she closes her letter with a slightly sad sentiment: “Remember, my dear, in your childhood, when your father was alive, how you prattled out your prayers sitting on my knee, and how happy we all were then! Goodbye, or, better, till we meet again! I embrace you very, very warmly, and send you countless kisses” (39). These words indicate a relationship that is removed, remote, formal. The love she and her daughter feel for Raskolnikov is apparent (“Love your sister Dunya, Rodya; love her as she loves you, and know that she loves you boundlessly, more than herself” [39]), but there is a longing for happier days. Raskolnikov’s response to his mother’s letter is strange – he is tormented by it (40). He does not send a loving reply; instead, he becomes angered by his sister’s potential marriage. He does not reciprocate the love of his mother and sister; he isolates himself even from his own family.

To make his isolation even more severe, Raskolnikov distances himself from society on an ideological level. He begins to consider the doctrines of nihilism which deny any meaning or value in life, people or a deity. We first get the idea that he is toying with some new beliefs when he says “I want to attempt such a thing, and at the same time I’m afraid of such trifles!” He continues, “Hm … yes … man has it all in his hands, and it all slips through his fingers from sheer cowardice” and then adds, “Am I really capable of that? Is that something serious? No, not serious at all. I’m just toying with it, for the sake of fantasy. A plaything! Yes, a plaything, if you like!” (Dostoevsky 3-4). The ‘that’ to which he is referring is the crime he is planning to commit. He finds nothing serious about it because the woman whom he will kill is “a stupid, meaningless, worthless, wicked, sick old crone, no good to anyone and, on the contrary, harmful to everyone, who doesn’t know herself why she’s alive” (65). He finds no intrinsic value in her; thus, he has determined that “what he had plotted was not a crime” (71). Committing this crime is his way of experimenting with the idea of people being devoid of value and worth. Now, if he finds no intrinsic value in himself, in other people or in the world around him, what would motivate him to cultivate a meaningful relationship with someone? There would be no reason, really; for if there is no value in another person, than there is certainly no value in a friendship, a romantic relationship or a familial relationship with another person, a person whom he determines to be worthless.

Another aspect of nihilism that creates distance is the idea of a ‘superhuman.’ Raskolnikov believes himself to be above the laws and rules that govern the rest of humanity. He is described to be “immersed in himself” (Dostoevsky 3), “not used to crowds” (11) and in one scene where he has a conversation with a drunk in a tavern, “at the first word actually addressed to him he suddenly felt his usual unpleasant and irritable feeling of loathing towards any stranger who touched or merely wanted to touch his person” (12-13). His feelings of superiority are clear:

“He was very poor and somehow haughtily proud and unsociable, as though he were keeping something to himself. It seemed to some of his friends that he looked upon them all as children, from above, as though he were ahead of them all in development, in knowledge, and in convictions, and that he regarded their convictions and interests as something inferior” (51).

He sees himself as being a kind of ‘superhuman’ – a person who is above the law and above others. Thus, he places himself on a different level than other people, so he has no point of commonality with other people. If he views himself as being set apart from all, or at least most, other humans, than he has no one to whom he can relate. His ideology isolates him from others.

So it is the isolation of his life, both practically and ideologically, that causes Raskolnikov to commit his crimes. He can relate to no one because he views people as worthless, or at best, as a means to an end and because he views himself as being on a different level than other people. Because people are of no value to him, he sees nothing wrong with taking away their lives and because he believes himself to be some sort of ‘superhuman,’ he determines that he can live outside of universal rules of morality and decency and be a law unto himself. This is the role that isolation plays in the committing of the crimes of Raskolnikov. But it is also isolation that leads him to suffer for his crimes, to feel guilt for his crimes and, finally, to repent of his crimes and to acknowledge his wrongdoings. Thus, we may say that though isolation caused him to commit his crimes, it also helped him to begin his journey to redemption.

Almost immediately after his crimes, Raskolnikov begins to suffer. When he wakes up the morning after the murders, he is terrified that he has left some evidence somewhere and he will be found out. He is especially nervous that “perhaps all his clothes were covered with blood, perhaps there were stains all over them, and he simply did not see, did not notice them” (Dostoevsky 91) and so, “chilled and shivering, he began taking everything off and examining it all again more thoroughly” (89). He also becomes very sick and “a terrible chill seized him; but the chill was also caused by a fever that had begun long ago in his sleep. Now, however, he was suddenly stricken with such shivering that his teeth almost flew out and everything in him came loose” (89). Furthermore, his illness is described as “a feverish condition, with moments of delirium and semi-awareness” (117). More important and more intense than his physical suffering, however, is his mental suffering. He experiences great emotional turmoil and confusion and “the conviction that everything, even memory, even simple reasoning-power was abandoning him, began to torment him unbearably” (90). “What,” he says, “can it be starting already, can the reckoning come so soon” (91)? His anguish is extreme and is experienced in solitude. No one else can feel his physical sickness and no one else can endure his mental torment. This aspect of isolation has a positive effect – it leads him to feel guilt for his sins which brings him one step closer to the road to redemption.

For all of Raskolnikov’s suffering, it seems to take quite a while for him to feel any guilt. Often, he simply determines that he is physically sick and uses the excuse that the woman whom he killed was nothing but a louse and a worthless person, and so, there was nothing wrong with what he did. Ultimately, however, the suffering takes its toll. In one scene, he is with his mother and sister and is arguing with his sister. In response to an accusation from him, she cries out passionately, “if I ruin anyone, it will only be myself … I haven’t gone and put a knife into anyone yet! … Why are you looking at me like that? Why did you get so pale? Rodya, what’s wrong? Rodya, dear!” and Raskolnikov faints (233). When Dunya remarks that there is no blood on her hands, Raskolnikov feels extremely uncomfortable, to the point of fainting, because he cannot say the same. In a scene following, Raskolnikov overtakes a man in the street who had inquired after him. The man calls him a murderer. Raskolnikov’s mutters a response to him, “barely audibly” and then,

“with slow, weakened steps, with trembling knees and as if terribly cold, Raskolnikov returned and went upstairs to his closet. He took off his cap, put it on the table, and stood motionlessly beside it for about ten minutes. Then, powerless, he lay down on the sofa and painfully, with a weak moan, stretched out on it; his eyes were closed. He lay that way for about half an hour” (272).

Now that someone has confronted him with his evil deeds and has portrayed his deeds properly – as the murder of a valuable person – his guilt is undeniable and his suffering, both physical and mental, is tremendous. Just like his suffering, his guilt is something that he must experience on his own. No one can feel the guilt of anyone else. Only the person suffering from guilt can truly feel it in its entirety. Raskolnikov feels his guilt in solitude; he is isolated in his suffering and he is isolated in his guilt and this is what allows for him to repent of his crimes and to acknowledge the immorality of them.

Raskolnikov is finally driven to repentance by Sonya, his lover. She tells him to “go to the crossroads, bow down to people, kiss the earth, because you have sinned before it as well, and say aloud to the whole world: ‘I am a murderer!’” and he does, amidst a number of people who assume that he is drunk (525). On the very last page of the novel, Raskolnikov finally confesses his crime to a police official, Ilya Petrovich, with these words: “It was I who killed the official’s old widow and her sister Lizaveta with an axe and robbed them” (531). It is noted in the epilogue that he does nothing to defend himself or make excuses for his actions and when asked what motivated him to confess, “he answered directly that it was sincere repentance” (536). Without the advice and encouragement from Sonya, he may never have confessed his crime, but it was Raskolnikov, ultimately and finally, who confessed. No person can confess for another person. This is yet another aspect of his isolation.

In the final resolution of the plot, Raskolnikov acknowledges, in isolation, the evil in his deeds. One of the first times that he realizes this is when he is confessing what he has done to his sister, Dunya. She is shocked that he is able to defend himself, but “as he was uttering this last exclamation [in defense of himself], his eyes suddenly met Dunya’s, and so great, so great was the anguish for him in those eyes that he came involuntarily to his senses” (519). When he is exiled to Siberia as a punishment for his crimes, he and Sonya are separated for a little while when they both become sick. During this time of aloneness, Raskolnikov has a dream in which all people all using one another and are living as if there is no truth or value in anyone or anything; no one can get along and “everyone and everything was perishing” (547). When he wakes from this dream, Raskolnikov is “pained” and “tormented” by the realization that that is how he had been living his life. He understands the error of his ways. Sonya comes to see him again when she is no longer sick and he is a changed man; he throws himself at her feet and “infinite happiness lit up in her eyes; she understood, and for her there was no longer any doubt that he loved her, loved her infinitely, and that at last the moment had come …” and in their faces “shone the dawn of a renewed future, of a complete resurrection into a new life. They were resurrected by love; the heart of each held infinite sources of life for the heart of the others” (549). He has finally acknowledged his crime, but he has done this on his own; he has come to this conclusion while he spends time away from Sonya. He needed to determine this for himself, else it would have been disingenuous.

Ultimately, isolation causes Raskolnikov to realize that he is in love with Sonya. Being in love with her necessarily disproves his previous nihilistic ideals because it puts him on the same level as her. Because he now understands and acknowledges that people do have value and that he is not some sort of superior human who is on a different level than other humans, he has finally found common ground with another person and can relate to someone else, he is finally able to recognize his love for Sonya. The isolation that had once caused him to separate himself philosophically from society which allowed for him to commit his crimes against society, now becomes the factor that goes along with his guilt, his suffering, his confession and his acknowledgement of wrongdoing. It becomes the thing that perpetrates his reentrance into society.

Works Cited

Dostoevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment. New York: Random House, Inc, 1993. Print.

Read more

The Manifestation of Dialogic Mode in the Book

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

“Kill her, take her money and with the help of it devote oneself to the service of humanity and the good of all. Would not one tiny crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds? One death, and a hundred lives in exchange.” (Dostoevsky, 69)

At precisely the right moment, Raskolnikov stumbles into a ‘miserable little tavern’ and overhears these eerily fateful words between a student and an officer. The student goes on to argue that it is the role of a select few – extraordinary persons – to ‘correct and direct nature’ in instances where it would benefit the whole; yet when friend challenges him, he quickly and feebly remarks that he is only ‘arguing for justice’ and could never commit such a base act – thus demoting himself to the grade of inferior, ordinary folk. Indirectly, however, the student has unknowingly incited the act that he supports only in theory, by nurturing and vindicating the very same idea that had been growing within the eavesdropping Raskolnikov. Indeed, the fated timing of this encounter further convinces Raskolnikov that it is a ‘guiding hint’ of an ‘inescapable pre-ordainment,’ which compounds his budding belief that he is of the extraordinary few that are permitted to breach moral codes in certain, extreme cases.

It is revealed later that this decisive conversation he overhears in the tavern echoes in exact parallels to the radical theses of Raskolnikov’s utilitarian article “On Crime.” The identical propositions and argumentation of the conversation to the thoughts and writings of Raskolnikov are too coincidental to be dismissed as simply fate, and they may even indicate a certain schizophrenic psychosis within Raskolnikov, whereby the conversation in the bar actually occurred within his head. Though this would suggest a much more serious mental illness than is ever explicitly ascribed to Raskolnikov, it is not an entirely unperceivable speculation – and it becomes even more plausible after Svidrigailov’s shocking account of Raskolnikov’s behavior in public: “You look and evidently see nothing before nor beside you. At last you begin moving your lips and talking to yourself, and sometimes you wave your hand and declaim at the last stand still in the middle of the road.” (Dostoevsky, 462)

This new vantage presents a detached portrayal of Raskolnikov’s condition, void of Raskolnikov’s influence – which exposes him – and reveals a more recognizable manifestation of insanity than is ever alluded to in his narration. While his illness has previously been limited to seizures and fits of paranoia, here we are given a crucial piece of evidence that jeopardizes the final shreds of credibility that Raskolnikov clings on to in defense of his rationality and sanity – which in effect jeopardizes the rationality of his theories. Yet, while the notions of fate and reliability of narration are critical and fascinating motifs in this excerpt and in the novel as a whole, the most important thing that can be extracted from this conversation in the tavern is the reiteration and compounding of utilitarianism as the main theme of the novel – as one to be wrestled with and dialogically engaged with until it is considered from every angle. Indeed, ultimately the dialogic mode of Crime and Punishment serves Dostoevsky as a means of reinforcing and reconsidering his own personal beliefs; and by leaving some of these key beliefs standing at the end of the novel, while letting others collapse, he indicates that his convictions are firmly rooted, examined, and substantiated.

During the entirety of Raskolnikov’s first conversation with Porfiry it is difficult not to buy in to Raskolnikov’s utilitarian theory which grants extraordinary men ‘the inner right to decide in his own conscience to overstep certain obstacles, [when it] benefits the whole of the community (260).” He continues in convincing defense of his article by speaking in elaborate terms about the betterment of society, while glorifying those with the courage to stand for change; saying such things as: “[the extraordinary] seek in varied ways the destruction of the present for the sake of the better (261).” In perhaps the most critical defense of his position Raskolnikov enters into lecture about the importance of and privileges granted to such extraordinary men: “Leaders of men such as Lycurgus, Solon, Mahomet, Napoleon, and so on, were all without exception criminals…They did not stop short at bloodshed, if that bloodshed where of use for their cause. It’s remarkable in fact, that the majority of these leaders of humanity were guilty of terrible carnage. I maintain that all great men, must from their very nature be criminals…otherwise it’s hard for them to get out of the common rut; and to remain in the common rut is what they can’t submit to” (Dostoevsky, 260).

Not only does Raskolnikov make a convincing case for utilitarianism during this defense of his disquisition, he also, by dividing society into two categories, provokes the audience into active thought and participation with his theory. It is impossible as a reader, after all, not to fancy oneself a member of the extraordinary, after such propagandizing as: “People with new ideas, people with the faintest capacity for saying something new, are extremely few in number, extraordinarily so in fact.” How can one submit, after such inspirational persuasion, to an ordinary class of people, a people who “are of conservative temperament, [who] live under control and love to be controlled (261)?” By making such an appealing case for the extraordinary class of people, and by supplementing his defense of murder with historically supported and logically justified arguments for the ‘sanction of bloodshed by conscience’, Dostoevsky creates a very strong case for a utilitarian motto “the greatest good for the greatest number of people.” And he builds it up, and milks it – in theory – from each and every angle, and finally puts it into practice. Then he lets it fall.

The fall of Raskolnikov, though predictable, is very complex and important. Indeed, the reasons for the failure of Raskolnikov’s utilitarian experiment allow Dostoevsky to explore and eventually conclude that the flaws in his theory do not outweigh its benefits; he therefore finally asserts that it is never justifiable to murder, even in extreme cases. Though Raskolnikov makes convincing cases for his theory in both his article and in the defense of his article to Porfiry, it cannot stand the test of practice. Ultimately, Raskolnikov’s concedes that the experiment failed in his case because he had not been granted the right to kill: “the devil led me on and he has shown me since that I had not the right to take that path (414).” He continues by saying, “Did I murder the old woman? I murdered myself not her! I crushed myself once and for all, for ever (414)…” The brutal toll that the murder takes on his conscience indicates that Raskolnikov understands that his theory should remain a theory – that it is not something to be attempted.

A last stand is made for his utilitarian theory, when in the first epilogue Raskolnikov laments to himself, “But those men succeeded and so they were right, and I didn’t, and so I had no right to take that step.” At this point it seems Dostoevsky has ruled that the theory should be considered on a case-by-case basis (rather than making a blanket statement for or against utilitarianism,) by leaving Raskolnikov unrepentant. But this proves to be a façade, as the wheels had already begun to fall off when Raskolnikov considered the idea of running away from his punishment instead of becoming a martyr for his cause; Porfiry notes, “You’ve ceased to believe in your theory already, what will you run away with?” To this point, Raskolnikov cannot even muster a response; he turns to leave from the conversation – corrected and ashamed. And finally in the last few pages of the novel, Dostoevsky resolves his neutrality towards Raskolnikov’s theory, by having him open his eyes, repent of his crime, and submit to punishment. It is of paramount importance that Dostoevsky includes the repentance of Raskolnikov in the end of the second epilogue, because in so doing he is able to silence the last standing voice for his theory, which in effect kills it.

Dostoevsky then, by considering and ultimately condemning utilitarian ‘humanitarianism,’ to reinforces what he believes to be the main influence of Raskolnikov’s murder. Namely, the implicit influence that environment has on behavior. The reader is constantly reminded of the ‘cupboard’ of a room in which Raskolnikov lives, amongst a grim and gloomy Petersburg backdrop. Still, Dostoevsky makes sure to drive the point home by including many less subtle hints about the influence of environment within the dialogue. Svidrigailov for instance, mentions at one point that, “This is a town of crazy people. There are few places where there are so many gloomy, strong and queer influences on the soul of a man as in Petersburg. The mere influences of climate mean so much.” In a similar vein, Porfiry says, “Petersburg had great effect on him” in reference to the murderer of the pawnbroker.

Yet the most direct statement regarding the influence of environment on criminal behavior – and one that resonates closely with Dostoevsky’s own beliefs before he was sent to Siberia – is the socialist doctrine brought up in a discussion between Porfiry, Raskolnikov and Razumihin:

“Everything with them is ‘the influence of environment,’ and nothing else. Their favorite phrase! From which follows that, if society is normally organized, all crime will cease at once, since there will be nothing to protest against and all men will become righteous in one instant.”

(Dostoevsky, 257)

This statement compounds the reoccurring argument for influence of environment on behavior, and though parts of it are dismissed as purely hypothetical (that is, the perfectly organized society,) the root of the matter remains – that the influence of environment on behavior is powerful and unavoidable. Lastly, during his trial Raskolnikov states that the cause of his crime was “his miserable position, his poverty and his helplessness (528).” In case the reader missed all of the other signs, Dostoevsky makes it as straightforward as possible. By including this theme so directly, and so often, Dostoevsky makes it clear that poverty, social circumstances and environment are all serious contributors to criminal behavior, though he carefully asserts that they do not justify crime, by having Raskolnikov caught and punished at the end of the novel.

It is perhaps one of the most fascinating and impressive aspects of Crime and Punishment, that Fyodor Dostoevsky goes to such great lengths in proposing the benefits of perspectives and theories he actually disagrees with in real life. He does so with the theme of religion – by having Raskolnikov convincingly challenge Sonia’s faith – when Dostoevsky is himself a devout Orthodox Christian. He also does so by exhaustively supporting a utilitarian theory that he condemns in real life. Dostoevsky’s ability to critically evaluate his different beliefs, through his writing, is most impressive because it shows that he knows every side of the arguments he engages with. Indeed, the dialogic nature of his examination of different issues is a testament to his willingness to see issues from the side of his opponents, and it allows him to strengthen his own views by testing them against their strongest counterpoints. In this way, Dostoevsky uses his novel as a therapeutic device, by which writing serves as an outlet for the consideration of the ideas that are important to him and to his society. This quality of Dostoevsky’s writing is part of what makes it so compelling, engaging, and ultimately so valuable – instead of being told what to think or having the author’s beliefs imposed upon us, we are given impartial evidence from both sides of an argument, and are left to wrestle with them. We, as readers, are credited for our ability to reason and engage with complex issues – and are simply guided by the wonderful imagination and vision of Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Bibliography

Dostoevsky, F. Crime and Punishment. New York, 2003: Bantam Dell.

Read more

The Importance of Minor Characters in Crime and Punishment

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

Anyone who has had any exposure to theatre has at least once heard the colloquialism, “there are no small parts, only small actors.” Some may mock this platitude, pointing out the fact that, of course there are small parts; most literary works contain several “bit parts.” But the root of this statement is true: no matter how “small” a character’s part may be, that character makes a contribution, large or small, to the story. And in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s classic work, Crime and Punishment, a central character that provides a key turning point has only two brief appearances.

Alyona Ivanovna is a pawnbroker and moneylender. This acceptable existence, vaguely awkward for a woman, in the beginning of the novel leads one to first want to disregard her as a mere surface character. But as the story unfolds, it becomes quite clear that both Alyona Ivanovna and her despicable character are a vital part of Raskolnikov’s plot to achieve extraordinary status.

To begin with, Alyona Ivanovna first presents a problem for Raskolnikov at her murder, albeit quite indirectly. While he is bludgeoning Alyona Ivanovna with the butt end of an axe, her sister Lizaveta returns from an errand and happens upon the horrifying scene. Startled by her arrival, Raskolnikov turns to her and murders her as well. This event equips Raskolnikov with two dilemmas: he has not only killed one woman, but two, the second of whom he had no intention of harming, and the fact that he murdered Lizaveta could spoil his theory of the Extraordinary Man, the Ubermensch. As a result of this possibility, Raskolnikov comes to more or less ignore his murder of Lizaveta.

Through the progression of Raskolnikov’s experience, several holes in his theory lead the reader to believe that Raskolnikov is not, in fact, an Extraordinary Man. These can be tied directly to Alyona Ivanovna, or to her murder. It becomes apparent that perhaps Alyona Ivanovna was not quite the despicable and nasty character she first appeared to be to Raskolnikov, or at the very least not worth murdering. While in his mind she was a wicked miser withholding money from the destitute of St. Petersburg, she, too, was one of the destitute. She was not a mighty money collector robbing from the poor who needed to be destroyed. She was simply “a louse.”

A second example of Raskolnikov’s unworthiness of the title Ubermensch is he first sets out upon this crime intending to take the money Alyona Ivanovna has been hoarding from the impoverished masses and use it to save dozens of families and individuals from starvation, or perhaps to continue his own education, eventually bettering the lives of many others. But in his panic after the murders, he seizes nearly no money at all, and fails to even see how much he has taken or the value of the items he took. Instead, he hides them under a rock in a side alley. In this way he fails to achieve his original aim.

Finally, Raskolnikov destroys his possibility of being extraordinary at the very scene of Alyona Ivanovna’s murder by directly violating one of the limitations he himself set upon the Ubermensch: the Extraordinary Man should make no mistakings in the acting out of his mission. Unlike his Ubermensch, Raskolnikov overlooks several things in the playing out of his “valiant” act. From the beginning, he is running late on his time span, arriving at Alyona Ivanovna’s apartments long after he should have. Secondly, not only did he not lock the door, but he did not even shut it properly, practically asking Lizaveta to walk in on his dastardly deed. Also, he did not even achieve his original aim of aiding the suffering majority of St. Petersburg by retrieving nearly no money from Alyona Ivanovna’s trunk. Lastly, his final escape from Alyona Ivanovna’s building is less than grand, with his nearly escaping discovery of his crime twice. Slightly less than extraordinary.

In many ways, Alyona Ivanovna’s brief appearance deeply affects the course of Raskolnikov’s journey. Though mostly through her death, Alyona Ivanovna’s character has great influence on Raskolnikov’s conscience. This influence demonstrates to the reader that there are, in fact, no small parts.

Read more

The First Part of the Novel – The Symbolism of Raskolnikov’s Dream

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

In “Part One” of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s famous 19th century novel Crime and Punishment, the beleaguered former-student Raskolnikov feverishly contemplates committing a “vile” crime, which is eventually revealed as the murder of local pawnbroker Alyona. Raskolnikov’s inner turmoil as he considers this crime takes the form of an ominous, frenzied delirium, manifested primarily by somatic symptoms. While this sickness paints a clear picture of Raskolnikov’s sense of agitation and unrest, it fails to elucidate any rational explanation of the terrible but nondescript crime he contemplates. This inability to vocalize his intentions leaves Raskolnikov feeling deeply conflicted but ultimately paralyzed to make any decision.

Before Raskolnikov can take any true action, he must acknowledge his murderous desires to himself. His drunken dream on the lawn serves as a clear turning point in this internal battle. It’s primary event — the beating to death of a mare unable to pull her heavy cart — stands in for Raskolnikov’s own potential crime and the conflict between its two main characters is analogous to Raskolnikov’s deep internal confliction. Able to symbolically articulate both his murderous desires and his resulting inner turmoil through a dream, Raskolnikoff overcomes his inability to explicitly name his crime, eliminating a vital internal barrier within himself and driving him towards his ultimate completion of the act.

Prompted by the letter from his mother, Raskolnikov’s dream returns him from the chaotic desperation of his adult life to his childhood, a place of clearer reality: “a setting so truthlike and filled with details so delicate [it] makes a powerful impression on the deranged nervous system” (106). Within this “singular actuality” of the dream, Raskolnikoff can finally articulate (through symbolism) his own inner turmoil regarding the crime he plans to commit (106). The initial description of the town’s landscape as “gray and heavy” with “a dark blur on the very edge of the horizon” and the presence of the graveyard creates a foreboding, arcane atmosphere that directly mirrors the reticent nature of Raskolnikov’s own internal world (107). Raskolnikoff navigates this dark landscape as a young boy, both attracted to and frightened by the “horrible figures” within the town (108). This too reflects Raskolnikov’s present internal conflict, as he obsesses over the “loathsome…thing” he wants to do but also remains so “intensely repulsed” by it, he cannot actually name the crime (19).

Raskolnikov’s sense of self polarizes further as the dream continues and his young, dream self takes interest in a group of peasants who plan to beat a “thin, sorrel” mare to death as she is unable to pull her heavy cart. It is here that the metaphor becomes clear (108). This beating represents the crime Raskolnikov considers committing. And Raskolnikov’s own representation is split between Mikolka, the mare’s owner, and his younger self. As Mikolka, Raskolnikov feels the mare is useless to society if she cannot perform her task and, therefore, should be beaten to death. As a child, however, Raskolnikov stands under the literal shadow of his father and the church (both moral influences on him ) and is overwhelmed with a sense of moral outrage, unable to understand why the people would torture “the poor horse” (115). This situation foreshadows Raskolnikov’s plans to murder pawnbroker Alyona, whom he feels is useless and parasitic (much like Mikiola does the mare). Similarly, the polarity between young Raskolnikov and Milkola demonstrates how deeply conflicted he feels about committing this crime. While the dream fails to resolve Raskolnikov’s conflicting feelings regarding the murder itself, its projects that confliction into an active visual, forcing him to witness his own inner turmoil. This confrontation of himself ultimately translates into a newfound ability to name him crime — Raskolnikov declaring, as he wakes up, his desire to “take an axe [and]…strike [Alyona] on the head, split her skull open” (116). This pivotal breakthrough ultimately leaves him with but one decision left to make — whether or not to kill the pawnbroker — a choice that he makes with new decisiveness, now that he has already admitted his true desire.

While most of part one is characterized by a furtive, unrevealing atmosphere of trouble to come, the dream signifies a major turning point that brings a new sense of clarity to both Raskolnikov and the audience about the true origins of his delirium. Finally confronted with the truth of his intentions and the polarity of his feelings, Raskolnikoff becomes newly able to articulate his criminal desires. Not only does this set the stage for Raskolnikov’s ultimate decision to murder the woman, but also works to define dreams within the novel as moments of ironic clarity, cutting through the fog of somatic delirium and revealing Raskolnikov’s true, controlling emotions.

Read more

“Gangs Form in Response to a Breakdown of Law and Order” analysis

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction: In the article “Gangs Form in Response to a Breakdown of Law and Order” it discussed various topics that show how they are trying to prove their statement. The reason why I chose this article was that I was looking for something that was controversial and that affected more people than most thought, and to give a deeper meaning and hopefully open the eyes of some. “Crime Causes Gangs”, “Gang as Protection”, and “A Failure of Government” are the topics that I am the most influential for my research paper (Sobel and Osoba 2009).

Body 1: When thinking about criminal activity most usually associate it with the presence of gangs, but it is actually the opposite, gangs were originally created because of crime is present in many communities.

According to Sobel and Osoba “the failure of government to protect the rights of individuals from violence committed by youths” and “By banding together under the threat of mutual retaliation, potential victims of youth violence can secure increased safety.” (Sobel and Osoba 2009) In my personal opinion, this shows that how the failure of the police following certain procedures in certain neighborhoods can cause a rift in the community because everywhere will do what they need to do when it boils down to the basic necessities of survival, to protect themselves and those they care for.

So when facing multiple encounters from rivals and other those who are being attacked will soon form their own group to protect themselves. They enforce rules in the community just like a government but use force in more of an aggressive, violent, and “barbaric” type of fashion.

Body 2: The concept is that people would join a gang to feel protected and safe from their rivals. This method has been around for multiple ages and is used by multiple organizations. “All protection firms and organizations, from the mafia to private security to traditional governments, use coercion, retaliatory violence, and predatory violence to enforce certain rules of conduct and to enforce and protect the rights of their members.” Sobel and Osoba state that “The gang’s use of retaliatory violence against someone who aggresses against a gang member actually results in a lower level of total violence as it creates a strong incentive for individuals not to initiate violence, to begin with, because of the fear of retaliation by the gang” (Sobel and Osoba 2009). Therefore, this is like when someone has a lot of siblings and people are scared to mess with them because the older siblings are going to correct anyone who steps out of line. This effect carries over to the use of gang protection and they use the “eye for an eye” method when it comes to retaliation or does two times as much damage to show they’re not to be messed with.

Body 3: The next point made that caught my eye was how they showed the connection between violence and gang activity. “The popular perception that gangs cause violent crime is based on tenuous casual observations. Although gangs and violence do seem to frequently coexist, such cross-sectional correlations do not imply causality. Our results provide strong evidence that violent crime causes an increase in gang membership and not vice versa. Thus, areas with higher rates of violent crime will also experience higher rates of gang membership as a result of the increased violence” (Sobel and Osoba 2009). Generally, the average person would take the idea of linking gang activity and violence and running with it without thinking of the background history associated with it. This style of thought process reminds me of how people link the increase of ice cream sales to the increase in murder rates. Those two usually make people do a double take since they are on two completely different ends of their respective spectrum, but they are brought together because both increases when temperature increases. Proving that one should not just take ideas, theories, and thoughts and just run with them. One should do their own personal research on a topic that is controversial before taking certain things and creating a mental fixation on the topic.

Closing: In conclusion, the article gave plenty of ideas to open the eyes of many. It shows what caused gangs to be created, gives an explanation of why they were created and even gave a few examples of earlier “organizations” that used similar tactics that gangs use today. Finally, I hope that those three bodies or work that were carefully drawn out over the course of 4 weeks gave the viewer the pleasure of coming to a better understanding of what caused the original gangs to be founded.

Read more

Biological Reasoning Of Becoming A Serial Killer

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introducing a new factor that is not really known, biological reasoning could be the main reason behind someone becoming a serial killer. Even though it is reiterated throughout life and things like religion and punishment, why would someone still kill multiple times? This is because this is how they were born and wired into life. Using the use of genetic disorders, family history, neurology and other elements, it will be evaluated if the lesser known biological reasoning is the most prominent reason.

Many serial killers did not have serial killer parents as such but what about the children of serial killers? Their genetics could be a reason why another killer was born. For example, the son of the “Rostov Ripper” Yuri Chikatilo, definitely turned out to be a criminal. The “Rostov Ripper” AKA Andrei Chikatilo murdered 52 women and children and even though his son did not do as bad, his son, in 2009, stabbed a man several times. Prior to this, he had been charged with fraud, extortion, rape, kidnapping and racketeering. Even after knowing his father and watching him get punished for this, it wasn’t a big enough deterrent and the crimes were still carried out.

Even though this next example is not necessarily a murderer, this person has talked about being scared that they would end up like their parents. The son of Fred & Rose West, Stephen West, has said that he was worried that he may continue his parents’ murdering life with him referring to be much like his father in nature. With him knowing it’s bad, he still thought there might be a chance for him to turn out like that.

A reason why genetics and parents may not be a cause of serial killing is because there are many examples where the children of infamous serial killers have grown up in a more behaved way. For example, the daughter of Ted Bundy, one of the worst known serial killers, Rose Bundy was conceived when Bundy was in prison. Even though there is not much on her, it was said by a Quora user that she is a good Christian and is living a happy life with her surname changed. The fact that not much is known and “Rose Bundy” has not been in the news, it is suggested that might be true. This, therefore, may be down to her environment and her relationship with her father being non-existent. Since she had no contact with her father and had learnt that his behaviour was the cruelest, she stayed away from that life and all bad. Despite Bundy being said to one of America’s worse serial killers, his daughter has managed to stay away from that lifestyle.

The son of Gary Ridgway, Matthew, had a good relationship with his father with plenty of contact. He mentioned that his father was a normal dad (a ‘soccer’ dad). As his father was murdering on the side, Matthew would spend time on the weekend with his father. Once, Gary brought Matthew in the car with a woman. When the woman didn’t return, Gary had told Matthew that the woman decided to walk. There was another time where, while Matthew was sleeping nearby, Gary had sexual intercourse with a murdered body. Due to Gary being such a doting father and despite Gary having strong fantasies about killing from a young age, Matthew did not turn into anything like his father. This further proves that it is more likely down to the environment that a killer is made.

Talking more about science, the study of neurology and the brain can help to distinguish what makes a serial killer different to others internally. James Fallon, a neuroscientist, has analysed 15 psychopathic killers and found that compared to a healthy brain, there was a decrease in the orbital cortex and the area around the amygdala. This is the part of the brain that prevents impulsivity so with the decrease of activity, it means the person is more likely to make impulsive actions. The impulsivity may explain the lack of remorse that a killer may feel when killing multiple times since they did what they wanted to do quickly and afterwards it was satisfaction of letting out anger built inside.

Using Fallon’s research, he mentioned in his book that he had conducted scans of people in his family. When looking at a certain scan, he saw that one was like those of a psychopathic killer and to his surprise, it was his own. He is a neuroscientist with no signs of becoming a serial killer which shows that despite having this slight disability in his orbital cortex, there was no effect on him. You could argue that someone’s brain may not have always been in this certain way and only developed after killing more which explains how someone can kill again but in terms of being born with it, it would be ruled out.

Read more

Analysis Of Criminalization Of Homosexuality In England, Wales And Scotland

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

This assignment will focus on the laws of homosexuality in England and Wales and Scotland. This assignment also highlights the gender and sexual identity equality in every case and supports these laws by the ideological role of humanity. The ideological role supports the social and political aspects of humanity. After that, the law of Human Right Acts supports the issues and debates of the gender and sexual identity equality by fairness, dignity, justice, respect and equality. Furthermore, this assignment will focus on the fundamental rights of human acts and implies that every person should get dignity and respect in every situation. This assignment will further discuss that no matter what, every person has a right to live their live on their own perspective. However, the act of homosexuality is not supported by the law, and it is consider as a crime in United Kingdom but apart from this, all the gender and sexual identities should get respect and better life within the country.

England and Wales Law on Homosexuality

Homosexuality Law in England and Wales lies under the Sexual Offences Act 1967. The Sexual Offence Act 1967 contains some new sections and the amendments in the Sexual Offence Act 1956.

Description

Under the Sexual Offences Act 1967, homosexual activity is not offensive if the act is done in private and the subjects have attained the age of twenty-one years. But If the act is done in private but more than two people, or the act is done in public lavatory, this Act shall not be treated so. The Act does not give any consent to the person suffering from the mental disorder, or it is the member of Army, Air force or Naval staff. Notifying the buggery this Act will not be offensive even if the act is done in private. The maximum punishment with a man over the age of sixteen years is not more than ten years if consent is not given otherwise it will be five years if the other man is underage of twenty-one years otherwise it will be two years. Under this Act, if the man will not be liable to the offence if he influence another man to commit the buggery and his punishment will not exceed two years. This Act further explains that a man or woman lives on the earnings of the prostitution will be imprisoned for six months on summary conviction and seven years on conviction.

Moreover, with reference to the Dudgeon v. the United Kingdom, it has been stated that in 1981, that it is considered as a criminal act to live and make sexual relationships in private with the same gender. The people who will involve in this kind of relationship will get punishment according to the ‘European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) case’ which held by section 11.

Scotland Law on Homosexuality

Description

Homosexuality in Scotland became legal under the Criminal Justice Act 1980, under the Criminal Act 1980 (Scotland) the act of homosexuality is not offensive if the subjects have attained the age of twenty-one years and act done is in private. More than two participants are restricted under this Act either in public or private. The hospital staff or the persons having the responsibility of any patient are prohibited from this act. According to this Act, a person who commits or is supportive to the commission shall be imprisoned for a period of two years or will be fine or both. The period of imprisonment shall be three months on a summary of conviction. If a person is living partially or entirely on the earnings of the male prostitution, he will be imprisoned for six months on summary conviction and two years on conviction.

Development of Homosexual Laws in England, Wales & Scotland

England & Wales

In 1950 a group of people in England and Wales formed a recommendation for the change in law for homosexuality, but it was not effective at that time. After some time in 1956, the law changed and allowed to live two men in a relationship without any fear. But there were some cases observed where the man got arrested for the act. Thus the law changed with some amendments and became a part of the Sexual Offence Act 1967. Since then in 1988 a law called section 28 was introduced that allowed teachers to promote homosexual relations in school but was not allowed at that time. In 2000 the law was changed, and homosexuals were allowed to join the army then in 2002 they were allowed to adopt the children. In 2003 law allowed them to promote homosexuality in school. The similar rights were given to them as were to married persons. Finally, in 2013 gay marriages become legalised and now these people are allowed to enjoy the same fundamental rights in the UK as ordinary people have.

Scotland

Homosexuality in Scotland was illegal before 1980 even the England and Wales legalised it in 1967. Same-sex contact in women was never illegal in Scotland; it was the man who was not allowed to do so. In Sexual Offence Act 1967, Scotland along with north Ireland was excluded. It has been just fourteen years this law is legalised in Scotland. The revolution for homosexuality was started when a group of people decided to leave Scotland when they were not allowed to remain in a relationship. The SMGs (Scottish Minorities Group) arranged discos in Scotland and kept homosexual people together. SMG elaborated it further and formed the Gay Information Centre for helping the gays. Thirteen years after this struggle MP Robin Cook lodged an amendment and the homosexuality became legalised in 1980.

Nevertheless, Scotland faced many problems since then as the 60 percent of drugs addicted people were found HIV patients and Scotland was labeled as HIV capital of Europe. After this many people went against homosexuality, Margaret Thatcher government went to war against the gay community. Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 prohibited homosexuality in schools. But the people in support were even stronger, and in 2005 the civil partners were allowed for being gay couples. Earlier 2017 Scotland was named as the best country in providing equal rights for homosexuals.

Differences

The laws for homosexuality in Scotland and England & Wales are almost the same; there are some minute differences like

1. Since in Scotland it was considered that women do not have homo relations, the law in Scotland noted the man only whereas in England and Wales law both men and women were mentioned.

2. The punishment for living on the earnings of a prostitute is also different under both laws. In Scotland its two years on conviction and in England & Wales law its seven years on conviction.

Real Case Example of Homosexuality

In year 1967, two men had a sex with each other and when this thing get into the society, the people start criticising these two just because of they both are men. After this situation, the court take this thing into notice and after all the things has been done it was decide that homosexuality after the age of 21 is legal throughout in the England and Wales.

After so many cases of the homosexuality when the homosexuality is banned, it has been observed that the crimes of the homosexuality is increasing day by day and people start doing this act forcefully in the society. There are lot of cases which has been proved that the homosexuality is making its place in the society forcefully.

One of the oft-quoted examples of a criminalized homosexual relationship has been the Grey and Grey relationship in England, where one of the partners was 80+ years. This was a civil partnership that was kept top secret but released to a newsman at the condition of confidentiality and privacy. This is an example of a union that the Homosexual Law Reform Society sought to protect and safeguard in the law from being proscribed and defined within the criminal context. In a classic illustration of their guilt, they are reported to have rushed to make the bed when they head that a vehicle had rammed into their compound, thinking that they were being investigated by the agencies. That means the act of homosexuality or any associations that are homosexuality are indeed criminal.

The real-life scenario as described has been captured in different statutory provisions in Wales and England such as presented by the Home Office Policy Advisory Committee. However, those proposing changes to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994 as well as the Sexual Offences Act of 2000 suggests that the age for consent ion homosexual partners should be set at 18 years. In this scenario, however, Grey was 89 years and the partner was less than 50 years, meaning that it was not criminal for the two despite that there was still so much scrutiny on people engaging in the act. All similar cases are dealt with under the provisions of the amended Sexual Offences Act of 2003 which gives power and discretion to the courts, the police, and other home office departments on elements associated with indecency, buggery, and gross violation of laws set out in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

The Impact of Law on Gender or Sexual Identity in England & Wales and Scotland

Sexual identity refers to the way man and woman show their emotional, romantic and sexual attractions. It also refers to a sense of identity-based on such attractions and behaviour and membership of membership in a community of others having the same attractions. The homosexual acts in England & Wales and Scotland has changed the mentality of people in the area.

Public Impact

Before these laws, homosexual people were not allowed to show their feelings in public but now they cannot only express their feelings but also participate in the public events for the homosexuals.

Psychological Impact

Before the laws for homosexuality, ordinary people kept themselves away from the homosexuals that created hatred in homosexuals against the public. After these laws, they are allowed to express their feelings.

Foucault and feminism are two concepts which always strongly support the laws which are related to gender and sexuality in England & Wales and Scotland. Foucault means power is anything like human beings have complete right to do whatever they want. Apart from this, feminism is a range of ideological, social and political movements that share a mutual objective for the rights of women and highlights that women are equal to the men in the society. Today our world is running in the 21st century, and accordingly, there are so many laws that affect the many aspects of the human lives whether they are men or women. These laws which are on the gender equality impacts on the gender in such a healthy way in which people can easily access all the resources and rights, avail all the political, civil and social rights, act as a free and do whatever they want but it should be right and live like independent agents in the society.

Sexual identity in England & Wales and Scotland is such a large area which covers the rights of all ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)’, the thing is that whether the person is formed any of the areas of LGBT, they should be respected and should get all the equal rights. Highlighting the legal issue related to gender identity and sexual orientation in England and Wales, this area of problems are commonly discussed into the society and fall into the same group of the category. This category is linked with the multiple laws which include employment law, family law, tax law, juvenile law, health law, immigration law, and many others. These all the laws impact the sexual identity in a way that these group of people feels that they are also the part of the nation and they are getting each and every right.

Moreover, the idea of ‘Foucault’ acts strongly in the area in which all the laws impact gender and sexual identity. This refers to that everyone has power and the right to live with the rights of citizenship and avail all the equal rights. These laws also impact the gender in a way in which people gets an equal living, social, cultural, political and civil rights, whether they belong from any of the gender or sexuality. The idea which is related to feminism is most commonly used for the women, which highlights that women have equal right for everything and especially they can do study and jobs as well. Moreover, with reference to the [English v Thomas Sanderson Blinds], it has been stated that sexual orientation judgement regulation has been supported in the United Kingdom since 2003. Under the ‘Equality Act 2010’ this law has been designed to protect the rights of the LGBT group. This law supports the right of employment, education, justice, immigration, tax and many more. However, it also has been stated that ‘Gender reassignment’ is a separately protected right under the act of equality 2010, which means that every transgender group or individual will also get protection in the workplace.

Ideological Role of Law in England & Wales and Scotland

Ideology is an assemblage of values and normative beliefs that are holed by any of the group or individual. The term of ‘Ideology’ is primarily used in England & Wales and Scotland to define a structure of ideas which forms the concept of political and economic policies and theories. Ideology works in a way like it helps to make an explanation of how unjust and unsocial relations are maintained in a society. More precisely, the concept of ideology works to explain the social and economic inequalities in the societies and carry out the ideological solutions for that on the basis of law and justice. The working of ideology is encounter in the condition in which all the unjust and unequal social and economic relations seem to be regular and routine and difficult to challenge.

Moreover, ideologies are ideas whose determination is not analysing the procedures and principles of inquiry but to analyse all the social and political issues with the country. As mentioned above that ideological law tends to deal with all the social and political issues in a way to carry out a positive result. So, the laws on the issue of gender and sexual identity can also be dealing with the concept of ideology. Ideologies are planned to move towards the sound and peaceful society. The principle of ideologies supports the element of which imposes liberty, distortion, myth, equality in gender and sexual identification. All the motives of the ideology are clearly set out in the ‘Declaration of Rights of Humanity and citizen’. It is not an issue, whether the person is from any of the LGBT group, society should have to see the whole nation as one in the same pride.

However, for achieving a peaceful, dominant and pleasant society, it is necessary to deal with all the laws of gender and sexual identity in an ideological way. It is also necessary to give a material condition of life to every of the person and should give them every ideological right of designed law whether the law is related to immigration, employment, tax, education and whatever. If a person is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, it is their own choice; no one has a right to impose anything on the people. They can live and carry their life in a way in which they want. This is the concept of ideology to give everyone every sort of ideological right. Moreover, with reference to the [Goodwin v. the United Kingdom], it has been stated that the applicant should get all the social and political right at the workplace and at the educational places, whether the applicant is from any of the genders they can get respect in every situation. However, a person should get a right to marry anyone they want without any restrictions and problems.

Current Debates and Issues in the Area of Law in England & Wales and Scotland

In today world, “Human Rights” is one of the most recent and updated issue in England & Wales and Scotland. Human rights are believed and conditions which belong to every person in the country. Human rights should be equal for the LGBT group. In general, human rights are the elementary rights of freedom that are designed for every person from the time of their birth until death. These fundamental rights are based entirely on the shared values for every person like fairness, equality in gender, dignity, respect and independence for every gender. These value of human rights are protected and defined by the law. Moreover, the ‘Human Rights Act’ is a law of the United Kingdom which was passed in the year 1998. This law is designed to defend the rights of people of every gender in the courts of the United Kingdom and compels public organisations. As mentioned above that England has a law that to treat every person from LGBT group in the same way and treat them on the basis of equality, and these all the laws supports the law of ‘Human Rights Act’. The Human Rights Act impacts every area of law by carrying out the fairness, justice, equality, respect and dignity for every person whether they belong from any of the genders. The Human Rights Act protects the rights of the people of every gender and implements these rights for every rich, poor, young, old, black and white.

There may be many situations, debates and issues which give increase to the fight between equal rights for every gender and another type of rights. When fundamental rights of human conflicts this can rise to the serious problem on the basis of constitutional and the law of human rights. These raising issue can overall lead to the weakness of the system of ‘Liberal Democracy’. Conflicts of rights between different genders raise when there is no possible solution of ‘Competing rights’. These debates and issues many includes that in which some people argue that it is not right to give the employment and educational seat to transgender, and usually people make fun of them. So, the Human Right Act, give a solution for this by uniting every person on the same platform and give respect to every gender. This can easily remove the conflicts between the people of different genders.

Conclusion

This assignment has been concluded, that in England and Wales the act of homosexuality is not offensive and cannot be done in private before the age of twenty-one years, but it is legal in Scotland. In Scotland, the act of homosexuality is not considered offensive and is legal. This act should be done either in private or in public as well. Moreover, sexual identity refers to the emotional and romantic sexual attraction of the two people towards each other, and it is allowed to respect every sexual and gender identification. The concept of Foucault and feminism are also playing their extensive role over here which highlights that people have the power to deal with anything they want and women should get all the equal rights. There are so many laws which are supported by the ideological role of justice. This ideological role highlights the norms and beliefs of the person and support all the law and carry out equal results and solution on the basis of social and political aspects.

For supporting the ideological role of law for the equality of gender the ‘Human Right Acts’ playing the vital role over here, which highlights the fairness, respect, dignity and justice for everyone.

Read more

Analysis of the Decline in the Use of Corporal Punishments in Europe

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

“A villain truly deserving of this horror of nature in its entirety, condemned to see no longer the heaven that he has outraged and to live no longer on the earth that he has sullied, above the punitive city hangs this iron spider; and the criminal who is to be thus crucified by the new law is the parricide”.

In the above statement, Vermeil is describing a corporal punishment, the “infliction of physical pain” on the body of a criminal, where the criminal would be hung up in an iron cage for everyone to witness this public theatre of punishment. In modern times, such a punishment would be considered horrendous and inhumane, but in the pre-enlightenment era, corporal punishment – such as mutilation, flogging, branding – were very common punishment practices. What caused this dramatic change in view point? By considering theories of Durkheim, Foucault and Weber, one can develop a timeline of the changes in social belief and of society that lead to the changes in punishment law to create our modern-day penal system.

Durkheim’s criminological theories were largely focused on sources of social solidarity and the methods that keep society functioning smoothly. Regarding punishment, Durkheim saw crime as being culturally defined. Therefore, a crime is not simply an act breaks the law but instead an act that disobeys the society’s conscience collective. The conscience collective being the “totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of a society”. Moreover, Durkheim saw punishment as symbolic and functional, serving to strengthen the social bonds between members of society. Furthermore, Durkheim describes two types of solidarity: mechanical and organic. Mechanic solidarity describes more primitive societies where shared morals are founded in religious beliefs and relationships are forged and maintained through shared experiences and unity. The conscience collective is very intense and rigid, due to its foundation in religion. So, when the collective is violated through crime, it catalyzes an intense hostile emotional response in the rest of society that demands vengeance upon the offender. Consequently, corporal punishment is common as even a slight violation against the conscience collective is significant, so the violent vengeful response within the society is great.

However, in more developed societies, based on organic solidarity, there is a separation from religion and an increase in moral diversity. So, the only shared characteristic that forms the psychic bond between people is humanity. In such societies they recognize the value of the individual, of freedom and of tolerance. Thus, social bonds have evolved from invoking a hostile reaction when violated to a calmer reflective response. In addition, Durkheim sees a conflict in the minds of people due to the rise in humanism. The morals that are violated and demand vengeance when a crime is committed, are the same ones that create sympathy towards the offender being punished. Accordingly, there is a decline in the use of corporal punishments as society develops from a mechanistic to an organic solidarity. Due to crime no longer being an act against god, and the acknowledgment of every member of a society having a unique life induces a sympathetic reaction to the one being punished.

Yet Durkheim completely disregards this theory of evolution from mechanical and organic solidarity in his later works. Potentially because while he argued that an organic solidarity is superior to a mechanical one, he could not support his claims. In fact, in his later work, Durkheim emphasizes the need for group symbols and rituals in an integrative society. Which can easily be interpreted as a support for the conscious collective, a foundational pillar of mechanical solidarity. How can we trust in the validity of his claims if Durkheim himself contradicts them?

Moreover, Durkheim based his conclusions from societies largely differing culturally from the western societies he applied his theories to, e.g.: the ancient Hebrews and the Aborigines. From these distant cultures he developed his view that punishment is a result of the intense emotive response to crime. Thus, drawing into question the ecological validity of his theory of solidarity. Especially, as Durkheim himself emphasizes the importance of culture when defining crime. So, while these different cultures may behave in the way Durkheim describes. One cannot assume that a western culture will have the same response to crime or, therefore, punish in the same way.

Michel Foucault has become the key theorist regarding the history of punishment. By looking into the technologies of penal power and not just the social context of the time, Foucault addressed a large hole in penal analysis that theorists, such as Durkheim, missed.

Throughout the 17th century the scaffold a main part of the penal system. It was used in judicial proceedings to torture condemning evidence from the criminal. It was the place for vengeance; at the time any criminal act was seen as a direct act against the King and his will. The scaffold thereby acted as a symbol of the King’s power and his right to punish. However, at the end of the 1700s, the public event of these executions became places for the public to riot and protest the use of the inhumane punishing techniques, the criminal even becoming a hero of the people. Foucault argues that these riots were too disruptive to be ignored by those in power and were the turning point for penal law that leads to the decrease in violent corporal punishments. Additionally, there were increases in crime against property with an increase in moveable property, landlords were more vulnerable. Crimes such as poaching and rent avoidance became less tolerable and the law, full of loopholes, appeared ineffectual and overly harsh. A reform was called for, one based on a standardised process, with punishments that were appropriate for the crime. Through this reform, the power of punishment shifted from the sovereign to the people. Thus, the increased regulation means that punishment is now about maintaining society and not about the King’s need to take revenge over those that defy him; inciting a decrease in harsh bodily punishments.

From here, the method of confinement quickly developed as the main method of punishing, moving from a time of embracing the spectacle of visible punishment to a time of structured confinement. The panoptic prison was, to Foucault, the ideal method of punishment; a prison where the offenders constantly felt under supervision, without necessarily being under constant supervision, would increase the self-control of the inhabitants of the prison. The constant surveillance also aids, what Foucault referred to as, normalisation – the process of correcting the behaviour of criminals. As this process needs to identify the abnormal actions of criminals to correct them to a normal way of behaving, constant surveillance would provide the in-depth detail needed. This development of the prison is a physical representation of society’s step away from corporal punishment and towards a forward looking, rehabilitation perspective.

Foucault claimed that the change in the penal system was rapid from 1780 to 1840. However, in actuality, penal reform regarding corporal punishments started developing around the 1600s when there started to be a decline in the use of methods such as flogging and branding. Moreover, contrary to Foucault’s claims, not all sections of the modern penal system were in place by 1840. Through these claims, Foucault is clearly disregarding the importance of professions, such as psychiatrists, who are vital in modern day sentencing. Thus, striking doubt that his theories actually are correct in their representation of the modern-day judicial system.

On the surface, Foucault’s theories seem entirely different to Durkheim’s. However, both make the point that punishment is a way to maintain a functioning society. Foucault puts this as those who offend have broken the ‘contract’ of society and so society as a whole works to fix the broken deal through punishment. Durkheim refers to punishment as a manifestation of social solidarity and societies need to preserve the social bonds with each other. This overlap in ideas increases the validity in their theories.

What’s more is that Foucault clearly claims that it was the rioting surrounding the scaffoldings that lead to their abolishment. However, other theorists claim that the rigor and distribution of the riots where significantly less meaningful than Foucault claimed and were not effective enough to abolish the punishment. This lack of accuracy causes doubt in the accuracy of Foucault’s whole historical account of the decline in corporal punishment.

Before any discussion, it is important to note that Weber did not specifically discuss punishment. However, his theories can often be found as the underlying tone in literature regarding punishment. Weberian theory sees penal practices as, historically, being led by emotions and other irrational factors. Then over time, society modernized and moved to a system of, what Weber called, bureaucratic rationality. Intrinsic to this development was society’s movement from religion and traditional authority, i.e.: the King, and towards a belief in science, through the process of disenchantment. Power began to be monopolized by the state, creating an increase in need for trained officials and administrative systems for the execution of penal law. Consequently, the emotion that previously ran the penal system faded out and was replaced by a dehumanized burearatic organisation. Clearly evidenced by our modern day justice system; authority is held with appointed individuals rather than the public and all sentencing is executed in accordance with the law. As punishment moved away from the public eye, the public articulation of anger towards crime faded out too. Moreover, the official methods of discussing punishment with the public became scientific and reflective of the rationalisation of punishment. It became necessary for those involved with sentencing to have specific knowledge and training, turning punishment into an elite topic above public comprehension. Through this Weberian perspective, it can be argued that the decline in corporal punishment was not due to the rise in humanism, as Durkheim argued, but instead the development of bureaucratized rationalism. The lack of emotion in the penal system means there is no need for excessive punishment based on revenge or other irrational factors that could have been the drive for corporal punishments in the pre-enlightenment era. Instead, there are pre-set rules for what punishment crimes are deserving of and even alternate punishments not laid out in the law means going through a bureaucratized system that ensures the punishment is still fair and relative to the crime.

However, rationalization never fully took over the penal system of punishment, there are still non-rational values within the system. David Garland (1990) argues that the courts of law still “openly [convey] emotive attitudes” of outrange and condemnation, effecting penal institutions through budgets, sentence length and parole. While administrative processes of bureaucratic organisations do work to decrease the influence of these factors, Garland (1990) argues that they just make the conflicts more manageable without removing them from the system entirely.

Having reviewed the theories of Durkheim, Foucault and Weber, one now has a better understanding as to how and why there was a decline in corporal punishment in the post-enlightenment era. Durkheim argued that the development of society from primitive to modern increased awareness of the differences between people and their lives, so it is impossible to know what the reasons behind crimes and therefore people are less inclined to use harsh corporal punishments. Foucault argued that it was the peoples’ rioting and humanism that drove out corporal punishments and allowed confinement to rise as the main source of punishment. From the Weberian perspective, society moved from a time of emotion to a time of rational thought which reduced the use of excessive vengeful punishments. It impossible to identify perspective is the most accurate in explaining corporal punishment’s decline in Western Europe as all three take largely different perspectives; Durkheim comes from the view of the people and their desire for punishment, Weber considers the view of bureaucratic organisations that control the sentencing of punishments and Foucault takes a more interactionist approach between the people and the state. Nevertheless, one can be sure that by looking at these three key theorists, they have a very well-rounded picture of why there was a decline in corporal punishment in Western Europe during the post-enlightenment era.

“A villain truly deserving of this horror of nature in its entirety, condemned to see no longer the heaven that he has outraged and to live no longer on the earth that he has sullied, above the punitive city hangs this iron spider; and the criminal who is to be thus crucified by the new law is the parricide”.

In the above statement, Vermeil is describing a corporal punishment, the “infliction of physical pain” on the body of a criminal, where the criminal would be hung up in an iron cage for everyone to witness this public theatre of punishment. In modern times, such a punishment would be considered horrendous and inhumane, but in the pre-enlightenment era, corporal punishment – such as mutilation, flogging, branding – were very common punishment practices. What caused this dramatic change in view point? By considering theories of Durkheim, Foucault and Weber, one can develop a timeline of the changes in social belief and of society that lead to the changes in punishment law to create our modern-day penal system.

Durkheim’s criminological theories were largely focused on sources of social solidarity and the methods that keep society functioning smoothly. Regarding punishment, Durkheim saw crime as being culturally defined. Therefore, a crime is not simply an act breaks the law but instead an act that disobeys the society’s conscience collective. The conscience collective being the “totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of a society”. Moreover, Durkheim saw punishment as symbolic and functional, serving to strengthen the social bonds between members of society. Furthermore, Durkheim describes two types of solidarity: mechanical and organic. Mechanic solidarity describes more primitive societies where shared morals are founded in religious beliefs and relationships are forged and maintained through shared experiences and unity. The conscience collective is very intense and rigid, due to its foundation in religion. So, when the collective is violated through crime, it catalyzes an intense hostile emotional response in the rest of society that demands vengeance upon the offender. Consequently, corporal punishment is common as even a slight violation against the conscience collective is significant, so the violent vengeful response within the society is great.

However, in more developed societies, based on organic solidarity, there is a separation from religion and an increase in moral diversity. So, the only shared characteristic that forms the psychic bond between people is humanity. In such societies they recognize the value of the individual, of freedom and of tolerance. Thus, social bonds have evolved from invoking a hostile reaction when violated to a calmer reflective response. In addition, Durkheim sees a conflict in the minds of people due to the rise in humanism. The morals that are violated and demand vengeance when a crime is committed, are the same ones that create sympathy towards the offender being punished. Accordingly, there is a decline in the use of corporal punishments as society develops from a mechanistic to an organic solidarity. Due to crime no longer being an act against god, and the acknowledgment of every member of a society having a unique life induces a sympathetic reaction to the one being punished.

Yet Durkheim completely disregards this theory of evolution from mechanical and organic solidarity in his later works. Potentially because while he argued that an organic solidarity is superior to a mechanical one, he could not support his claims. In fact, in his later work, Durkheim emphasizes the need for group symbols and rituals in an integrative society. Which can easily be interpreted as a support for the conscious collective, a foundational pillar of mechanical solidarity. How can we trust in the validity of his claims if Durkheim himself contradicts them?

Moreover, Durkheim based his conclusions from societies largely differing culturally from the western societies he applied his theories to, e.g.: the ancient Hebrews and the Aborigines. From these distant cultures he developed his view that punishment is a result of the intense emotive response to crime. Thus, drawing into question the ecological validity of his theory of solidarity. Especially, as Durkheim himself emphasizes the importance of culture when defining crime. So, while these different cultures may behave in the way Durkheim describes. One cannot assume that a western culture will have the same response to crime or, therefore, punish in the same way.

Michel Foucault has become the key theorist regarding the history of punishment. By looking into the technologies of penal power and not just the social context of the time, Foucault addressed a large hole in penal analysis that theorists, such as Durkheim, missed.

Throughout the 17th century the scaffold a main part of the penal system. It was used in judicial proceedings to torture condemning evidence from the criminal. It was the place for vengeance; at the time any criminal act was seen as a direct act against the King and his will. The scaffold thereby acted as a symbol of the King’s power and his right to punish. However, at the end of the 1700s, the public event of these executions became places for the public to riot and protest the use of the inhumane punishing techniques, the criminal even becoming a hero of the people. Foucault argues that these riots were too disruptive to be ignored by those in power and were the turning point for penal law that leads to the decrease in violent corporal punishments. Additionally, there were increases in crime against property with an increase in moveable property, landlords were more vulnerable. Crimes such as poaching and rent avoidance became less tolerable and the law, full of loopholes, appeared ineffectual and overly harsh. A reform was called for, one based on a standardised process, with punishments that were appropriate for the crime. Through this reform, the power of punishment shifted from the sovereign to the people. Thus, the increased regulation means that punishment is now about maintaining society and not about the King’s need to take revenge over those that defy him; inciting a decrease in harsh bodily punishments.

From here, the method of confinement quickly developed as the main method of punishing, moving from a time of embracing the spectacle of visible punishment to a time of structured confinement. The panoptic prison was, to Foucault, the ideal method of punishment; a prison where the offenders constantly felt under supervision, without necessarily being under constant supervision, would increase the self-control of the inhabitants of the prison. The constant surveillance also aids, what Foucault referred to as, normalisation – the process of correcting the behaviour of criminals. As this process needs to identify the abnormal actions of criminals to correct them to a normal way of behaving, constant surveillance would provide the in-depth detail needed. This development of the prison is a physical representation of society’s step away from corporal punishment and towards a forward looking, rehabilitation perspective.

Foucault claimed that the change in the penal system was rapid from 1780 to 1840. However, in actuality, penal reform regarding corporal punishments started developing around the 1600s when there started to be a decline in the use of methods such as flogging and branding. Moreover, contrary to Foucault’s claims, not all sections of the modern penal system were in place by 1840. Through these claims, Foucault is clearly disregarding the importance of professions, such as psychiatrists, who are vital in modern day sentencing. Thus, striking doubt that his theories actually are correct in their representation of the modern-day judicial system.

On the surface, Foucault’s theories seem entirely different to Durkheim’s. However, both make the point that punishment is a way to maintain a functioning society. Foucault puts this as those who offend have broken the ‘contract’ of society and so society as a whole works to fix the broken deal through punishment. Durkheim refers to punishment as a manifestation of social solidarity and societies need to preserve the social bonds with each other. This overlap in ideas increases the validity in their theories.

What’s more is that Foucault clearly claims that it was the rioting surrounding the scaffoldings that lead to their abolishment. However, other theorists claim that the rigor and distribution of the riots where significantly less meaningful than Foucault claimed and were not effective enough to abolish the punishment. This lack of accuracy causes doubt in the accuracy of Foucault’s whole historical account of the decline in corporal punishment.

Before any discussion, it is important to note that Weber did not specifically discuss punishment. However, his theories can often be found as the underlying tone in literature regarding punishment. Weberian theory sees penal practices as, historically, being led by emotions and other irrational factors. Then over time, society modernized and moved to a system of, what Weber called, bureaucratic rationality. Intrinsic to this development was society’s movement from religion and traditional authority, i.e.: the King, and towards a belief in science, through the process of disenchantment. Power began to be monopolized by the state, creating an increase in need for trained officials and administrative systems for the execution of penal law. Consequently, the emotion that previously ran the penal system faded out and was replaced by a dehumanized burearatic organisation. Clearly evidenced by our modern day justice system; authority is held with appointed individuals rather than the public and all sentencing is executed in accordance with the law. As punishment moved away from the public eye, the public articulation of anger towards crime faded out too. Moreover, the official methods of discussing punishment with the public became scientific and reflective of the rationalisation of punishment. It became necessary for those involved with sentencing to have specific knowledge and training, turning punishment into an elite topic above public comprehension. Through this Weberian perspective, it can be argued that the decline in corporal punishment was not due to the rise in humanism, as Durkheim argued, but instead the development of bureaucratized rationalism. The lack of emotion in the penal system means there is no need for excessive punishment based on revenge or other irrational factors that could have been the drive for corporal punishments in the pre-enlightenment era. Instead, there are pre-set rules for what punishment crimes are deserving of and even alternate punishments not laid out in the law means going through a bureaucratized system that ensures the punishment is still fair and relative to the crime.

However, rationalization never fully took over the penal system of punishment, there are still non-rational values within the system. David Garland (1990) argues that the courts of law still “openly [convey] emotive attitudes” of outrange and condemnation, effecting penal institutions through budgets, sentence length and parole. While administrative processes of bureaucratic organisations do work to decrease the influence of these factors, Garland (1990) argues that they just make the conflicts more manageable without removing them from the system entirely.

Having reviewed the theories of Durkheim, Foucault and Weber, one now has a better understanding as to how and why there was a decline in corporal punishment in the post-enlightenment era. Durkheim argued that the development of society from primitive to modern increased awareness of the differences between people and their lives, so it is impossible to know what the reasons behind crimes and therefore people are less inclined to use harsh corporal punishments. Foucault argued that it was the peoples’ rioting and humanism that drove out corporal punishments and allowed confinement to rise as the main source of punishment. From the Weberian perspective, society moved from a time of emotion to a time of rational thought which reduced the use of excessive vengeful punishments. It impossible to identify perspective is the most accurate in explaining corporal punishment’s decline in Western Europe as all three take largely different perspectives; Durkheim comes from the view of the people and their desire for punishment, Weber considers the view of bureaucratic organisations that control the sentencing of punishments and Foucault takes a more interactionist approach between the people and the state. Nevertheless, one can be sure that by looking at these three key theorists, they have a very well-rounded picture of why there was a decline in corporal punishment in Western Europe during the post-enlightenment era.

Read more

Mass Incarceration: Locked Up In America

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

America has been taking measures to ensure that crimes do not go undetected or unpunished. This has led to an increase in the number of people who have been incarcerated. In recent years those who are being incarcerated come from all races, religion, genders, and even social classes. The United States puts more people behind bars than any other country in the world. America needs to seek out ways to reduce imprisonment rates, there are too many people who go to prison for too long for no good reason.

Mass incarceration is a forcible deprivation of liberty and individual freedom and rights, causing overpopulated jails and prisons. America leads to incarceration rates compared to other countries. In the world, America has the largest prison population in terms of the percentage of total population and number of inmates.

High incarceration rates inflict many unnecessary costs on society, impacting the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Crime rates themselves have been decreasing, but still, pose a threat to America’s economy. The cost of incarceration alone hurts the economy. A city paid $168,000 a year for one inmate, and the average annual taxpayer cost was $31,286. Social costs are also a problem, whether it be costs of victimization or cost that are intangible.

It appears America’s War on Drugs plays a large role in incarceration rates. There are harsh laws in place that place nonviolent drug offenders behind bars. There has been a rise in activity by the law-enforcement to stop and extinguish drug use. This is partially the reason as to why America has such large incarceration rates. To say War on Drugs was the only role played to influence incarceration rates would be false, or to say that limiting sentencing on non-violent drug abuse would be the only cure to this problem. United States sentencing laws, in general, are too strict, the idea to be tough on crime all the time has led to strict policies, which is the result of inmates spending too much time in prison. Here are three recommendations to achieve an efficient criminal justice system.

Firstly, America can reinvest savings, eliminate truth in sentencing and three strike laws, and prosecutors could seek lower penalties when appropriate. If the United States were to reinvest savings, there would be so much money saved that could then be redistributed to education, an improvement on public safety and rehabilitation programs, which would all benefit society tremendously. If three strikes laws and truth in sentencing were eliminated, the judges would then be able to make decisions on sentencing that would be more appropriate for the offender. These two laws deprive the judge of being able to assess the details of the crime to give fair sentences.

Next sentence maximums and minimums should be further evaluated. If someone commits a crime, yes, they should be punished, but for what amount of time? Just because one has a longer sentence in prison does not mean they will be better rehabilitated. Longer stays could possibly lead to a criminal relapse. The guidelines for sentencing should be improved on to make the sentencing proportional to the crimes committed.

Lastly, prison should be eliminated for lower-level crimes. The price per prisoner a year is too costly to be sentencing minor charges such as possession, selling marijuana, or even petty theft. For these types of offences, there should be programs encouraged or mandatory such as probation, rehabilitation, or community service. There should be alternatives to prison for lower types of offences.

After watching incarceration rates incline to heights unimaginable there are some radical ideas that would either be an excellent solution or end to disaster. On the surface, it seems like a wonderful idea to cut sentencing minimums and maximums because of cost efficiency, but this would come with consequences. With longer prison sentences, the criminal would be off the streets, meaning there would be a decrease in crime rates. This is the main flaw of the idea to reduce sentences.

Eliminating sentences for low rate crimes would be beneficial economically, but could impact the crime rate tremendously, as well increase the number of facilities that provide community service, and rehabilitation centres. There is also no proof that rehab, community service, or even probation would be more beneficial to the offenders than serving their time. Taking into consideration that the offender may not have to properly pay for their crime by serving time in jail.

The three strikes law and truth in sentencing impacts the criminal justice system in volumes. Truth in Sentencing laws are in place to make sure there is not a possibility of early release for those who are incarcerated, it requires that they serve a particular portion of their sentence. This allows the criminal to be punished for what they did and sets a fair standard for all criminals, which is smart. The three strikes law is in place to ensure a mandatory prison time. This law can easily be a deterrent against crime and reduce felony arrest. The flaw in this law is that people who have three non-violent felonies can still qualify, and it leads to prison overpopulation.

In conclusion, there are many reasons as to why mass incarceration is a problem, and there are many solutions that could either be beneficial or detrimental depending on the circumstance. No matter what there has to be something done to regulate the number of people being incarcerated.

Read more

Mass Incarceration and the Rights of African Americans

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction

Mass incarceration is something that goes on most countries especially countries in highly regressive regimes like Russian, China, Iran, Germany, and many more countries. However, the United States is known to now have the highest rate of incarceration in the world. This is due to the fact that in the United States, most of the black men are usually sentenced or admitted to prison on drug charges than the white man although statistics have shown that most young men are more inclined to engage in drugs than young black men. As of today, an extraordinary amount of blacks is not able to vote since nearly in every state, convicted felons are barred from voting. From my own point of view, I do not support the idea of mass incarceration because this form of imprisonment has its own way of making sure that most of the African American men are the ones who end up in jail which then takes away their right to vote even after being released from prison since that prisoner may still not be entitled to all of his rights.

I agree to the fact that mass incarceration stipe African Americans of their rights because according to Alexander (2012), the new Jim Crow was born to “unfairly target African Americans by law enforcement on the behalf of the federal government interested in stoking racial flames in order to win elections”. Also, “although the Civil Rights Amendments and reconstruction eradicated Slavery and brought about positive change, it did not last as the racial system has now evolved with new rules meant to target the African Americans specifically and thereby making them look like criminals”.

To fully understand the history and concept of Jim Crow, Alexander explained that the name, Jim Crow was a racial caste system which operated primarily between 1877 and the mid- 1960s. It consisted of a series of anti-black laws. These laws consisted of relegated African Americans as second-class citizen. For example, under Jim Crows era, African Americans were called names such as “dogs, and Negros”. Also, in places where they had water fountains, there were signs indicating which ones belonged to the white man and which one belonged to the black man.

Alexander also goes on to say that once an African American man is labeled a felon, it automatically leads to some form of discrimination. This is because even after a person is released from prison, they are faced with “employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of their rights to vote, denial of food stamps, exclusion from jury service, denial of educational opportunity, and other public benefits. Because of the dilemma that they go through, many people, especially the African Americans who are often released from prison ends up back in prison with the first three years.

Lastly, families had to lie to their fellow friends and to other families just to protect their status since the same of being labeled as a felon was often seen to bring about more shame to a household than other crimes.

United States Prison System

I agree with Alexander that the United Stated Prison System operates as a new Jim Crow system because Firstly, being in prison usually labels them as having a criminal record and the stigma of having a criminal record discriminates these African Americans from the rest of the world since they have difficulty in finding a job or even better housing. Sometimes, if care is not taken, these same African American individuals who were released end up in prison due to the struggles they face outside prison. Also, under Jim Crow system, African Americans were given the status of second class citizens. This status, criminalize and demonize these black men and as a result, turns the black community against itself.

Secondly, The Civil Rights Movements was criticized and in the Southern Scheme, the African Americans were labeled as “lazy”, “cheats”, and even “criminals”. Owing to this, the only way to bring anger to the blacks was for the white man to come up with speeches that encouraged aggressions amongst the blacks in an attempt to win votes from white man. This was very successful especially during Reagan’s campaigns as he “echoed white frustration in race-neutral terms through implicit racial appeals”.

Thirdly, the United Stated Prison System operates as a new Jim Crow system because although drugs are often sold by both the blacks and the whites, the blacks are purposefully targeted and imprisoned more than the whites

Lastly, I believe that the United States prison operates as a new Jim Crow because when the compromise of the 1877 took over, black gains began to fade which led to black convicts having no legal rights and essentially making them slaves to the states. The prison population also began to rise since blacks were the main target.

Although “the passing of the fourteenth amendments encouraged African Americans engaging in their society, they could not defend themselves and the threats of violence kept many of them out of the public life”.

Mass Incarceration

I agree that “mass incarceration operates as a tightly networked system of laws, policies, customs, and institutions” that locks black Americans, particularly black males, into an under caste because the high levels of incarceration especially in African American males have become an unprecedented complex problem. According to Alexander, although poverty and joblessness is a leading problem of research has also shown that the war on drugs is a major poverty and crimes. Because of the extreme levels of imprisonment especially in most urban communities, the felon label itself poses a greater threat than the crime itself due to the fact that it brings about discrimination in every aspect of their lives. Also, even as of today, when comparing the white and the African American man, white criminal who has been freed from prison has more rights than an African American black male living “free” at the height of Jim Crow.

Although the majority or illegal drug users and dealers nationwide are white, three-fourth of all people imprisoned on drugs offenses have been blacks. This type of doing reinforces the dominant racial narratives about crimes which dates back to slavery”. Fellow felons who were released and also had the right to vote were told that they cannot vote due to the level of their crime. Because these individuals did not want to make their case public, they never tried to follow up on it and have lived in the country with their rights to vote taken away from them. There is also the issue of African American men who are been targeted just because they live in “ghettos” and are often treated as criminals because of their level of poverty. The same goes for the stop-and -frisk rule that allows police to stop and frisk if they have any suspicion of criminal activities. Although the court upheld that rule and argued that people can refused to be searched, most people are too afraid to deny the police officers request especially in a situation where the individual is an African American man, he might be afraid of being shot with the excuse of him trying to resist the police

To conclude, I agree that “mass incarceration operates as a tightly networked system of laws, policies, customs, and institutions” that locks black Americans, particularly black males, into an under caste because purposefully target African Americans portraying them as criminals that need to be locked away. Also, the United States Prison System operates as a new Jim Crow system because once an African American is arrested and convicted, they are forever labeled as a felon which discriminates them from the rest of the world even after they are released.

Read more
Order Creative Sample Now
Choose type of discipline
Choose academic level
  • High school
  • College
  • University
  • Masters
  • PhD
Deadline

Page count
1 pages
$ 10

Price