What is law?
Law, though without a universally accepted definition, a set of rules made
to guide society to prevent harm and chaos from occurring. Beyond setting
guidelines, law is enforced by social institutions such as law enforcement
or police force and the justice department. Bigger factions of the government
such as the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and the US Justice Department
also enforce law throughout the country.
Law in history
The first laws were always as humane as simple imprisonment. Back during
the time of the Babylonians, the Code of Hammurabi was made up of 282
laws with their respective punishments, should they be disobeyed. It is
actually one of the main bases of punishment today – the concept of
lex talionis, meaning law of the talion or “an eye for an eye”. This concept
was an equalizer, wherein the criminal should receive the same value as
the injury he or she committed.
What is covered by criminal law?
Because the law covers such as vast portion of societal conduct, cases
fall under different kinds of law. One of these categories is criminal
law or laws that regulate criminal conduct or “crimes”. Conduct
that threatens, harms, or endangers the safety, health, and moral welfare
of members of society is considered a crime.
Objectives of criminal law
The main objective of criminal law is to sanction criminals, or people
who do not abide by the law. Because cases vary in severity, so do the
punishment. People can get off with a certain amount of time performing
community service while the most severe crimes can cost the criminal capital
punishment (the death penalty). For states that capital punishment has
been abolished, a long prison sentence, usually a lifetime, is the alternative.
Categorically, there are five main objective of criminal law:
- Retribution – The concept of retribution is one of exchange. Because
the person committed a crime, he or she should receive adequate punishment
for it – the consequence of his or her actions, or a way to “balance
- Deterrence – By punishing a criminal and making the consequences
public, other members of society who would have otherwise taken part in
a crime would be deterred from doing it in the first place. Punishing
a criminal is a means to set an example to the rest of society.
- Incapacitation – When criminals are punished by imprisonment or death,
they are kept away or isolated from society, to protect both the society
and themselves from their criminal conduct.
- Rehabilitation – A prison sentence that is not lifelong is meant
to rehabilitate the criminal, in which he will see the error of his ways
and deter him from committing another crime.
Restoration – For crimes that involve
robbery, or embezzlement, the criminal is forced to repay the victim the amount
he or she has stolen. This way, what originally belonged to the victim
is “restored” to him or her.
Criminal law is one of the many specialties at Kyle Law Firm. If you want
to file a claim or a case against someone or have a case filed against
you, you can meet up with our team of lawyers to plan out your next move.
Schedule a consult today!