Assignment 2: Deterrence
The concept of deterrence plays an important role in our system. Laws are in place to punish offenders but also to hopefully dissuade potential offenders from actually committing the crime.
Your state has decided to pass a law making it illegal to drive while using a cell phone or texting. The purpose of the new law is not really to punish people since this is not a “bad” crime, like hurting someone or stealing. Rather, the goal is to deter people from driving in a dangerous manner. Prepare a memo to the committee that is looking into this project—the committee needs to understand the concept of deterrence.
Your memo should be of 3 to 4 pages and include:
- A justification for adopting this law, including an explanation of the concept of deterrence
- A explanation of whether deterrence is a Classical concept or a Positive one
- A suggestion for a deterrent punishment, with an explanation as to why you believe that this punishment will have the desired deterrent effect
- An explanation of whether there are any characteristics of potential offenders that influence whether deterrence will work—in other words, whether certain deterrence efforts will work on some offenders and not others
- An explanation of what the state will have to do in order to achieve deterrence