Crime and Punishment Revision
capital punishment
a recurring
compulsion to
engage in an
activity regardless
of its bad effects
the death penalty
for a crime or
an act against the
the idea that
should be of such a
nature that they
will put people off
(deter) committing
the act of judging
people and their
due allocation of
reward and
maintenance of
what is right
rules made by
Parliament and
enforceable by the
The Issues
Drugs and Alcohol
Capital Punishment
Justice and the Law
The reasons we have laws:
 Laws tell us how we should and should not behave
 Laws set out how people should be punished if the law
is broken
The advantage of having laws is:
 People are free to live their lives without having to
spend all of their time worrying about protecting
themselves or their possessions.
Laws only work if crimes are seen to be punished.
Punishment should make the criminal take responsibility for
their actions. Punishments must also be proportional; this
means the punishment must fit the crime. It cannot be too
harsh, or too soft, or it will be seen as unjust.
The theories of punishment:
 Protection - Punishing a wrong-doer by putting them
into prison, or taking their life, in order to protect
 Deterrent - Having a harsh enough punishment to put
people off committing a crime, or to stop them from reoffending.
 Retribution - Punishing someone to make them pay for
their crime. Sometimes summed up as 'an eye for an
 Rehabilitation - A way of stopping a person from reoffending through education and training, sometimes
based in prison.
 Reparation - Paying for a crime by doing something to
help the victim, or society. The criminal will usually
avoid prison.
Arguments for Capital Punishment:
 It is an excellent deterrent. Knowing that you could be
executed for a crime is likely to stop people committing
 The death penalty gives the victim's family a sense of
closure so that they can move on with their lives.
 The death penalty removes dangerous people from
society making it a safer place for everyone.
 A life for a life is fair. Human life is very valuable so if
someone takes another then they should lose theirs.
 The death penalty is cheaper than keeping someone
alive in prison for the rest of their life.
Arguments against Capital Punishment:
 A life for a life doesn't work. One person could kill many
others but can only be killed once for their crimes.
 Life in prison is a greater deterrent to many criminals,
which is why some try to kill themselves.
 Life is sacred; no one has the right to kill another
 Innocent people sometimes get convicted by mistake.
The death penalty means that the mistake can't be
 Terrorists are sometimes regarded as heroes or martyrs;
giving them the death penalty might encourage others
to follow.
 The death penalty is barbaric and inhuman; it creates a
brutal society.
 The UN survey in 1988 and 1996 found no evidence that
capital punishment was a deterrent.
Alcohol and the Law
Drugs and the Law
If you’re under 18, it is against the law:
 for someone to sell you alcohol
 to buy or try to buy alcohol
 for an adult to buy or try to buy alcohol for you
 to drink alcohol in licensed premises (eg a pub or
Illegal drugs are divided into three categories:
 Class A (e.g. Heroin, Cocaine and Ecstasy)
 Class B (e.g. Amphetamine and Barbiturates)
 Class C (e.g. Cannabis and some tranquilisers)
However if you’re 16 or 17 and accompanied by an adult,
you can drink (but not buy) beer, wine or cider with a meal.
The Law distinguishes between possession and supplying
Alcohol and drug abuse can lead to:
 Increased crime rates
 Health problems and even death.
 Increased costs for society.
the idea that
punishments should
try to change
criminals so that
they will not
commit crimes
restore to normal
Christian View
God is just and expects his people to treat each other in the
same way.
Treating people unjustly is a sin and those who do it will be
'The punishment shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for
Once punishment has been given the issue is over; vendettas
are unjust.
The Bible says:
 You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a
tooth for a tooth.’ But now I tell you: do not take revenge on
someone who wrongs you. If anyone slaps you on the right
cheek, let him slap your left cheek too. Matthew 5
 “Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you, for God
will judge you in the same way you judge others, and he will
apply to you the same rules you apply to others. Matthew 7
Many Christians are totally opposed to capital punishment and
feel that it is un-Christian. They think Christians should campaign
for it to be abolished. They think these things because:
 Jesus came to save (or reform/change) sinners. You cannot
reform a criminal after they have been executed!
 The Old Testament Law allowed retribution but in the New
Testament Jesus said that “an eye for an eye” is wrong.
 Christians believe in the sanctity of life. This means that life is
special because God made it.
Some Christians support the use of capital punishment. They
think that its use is the best way of keeping order and preventing
murder in society. They believe this because:
 The Bible states (in the Old Testament) that the death
penalty should be used for a number of crimes so God allows
 The Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England have
not formally withdrawn their support for the use capital
 Christians have in the past used capital punishment and put
people to death for their crimes.
Many Christians don't have a problem with using alcohol in a
responsible way.
 Jesus drank wine. At a wedding in Cana he turned water into
 Most Roman Catholic and Church of England churches use
alcoholic wine in services.
However, some see alcohol as a real problem in society and
discourage it.
 Some Nonconformist churches worked in Victorian slums and
saw the misery alcohol caused.
 "Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit." 1 Corinthians 6
being responsible
for one’s actions
the idea that
punishments should
make criminals pay
for what they have
done wrong
an act against the
will of God
Muslim View
Justice is extremely important to Muslims because they
believe that Allah is just. One of his 99 names is Al-Adl,
which means 'The Just'.
Allah created everyone equal and treats his creation with
justice and fairness. He expects his people to treat everyone
in the same way.
Those who do not treat other people with justice will be
judged accordingly when they go before Allah on the Day of
Judgement. If they do not show mercy to others, they
cannot expect Allah to show mercy to them. On the Day of
Judgement, the good will be rewarded and the evil
The Qur’an says:
 “Let not the hatred of a people swerve you away from
justice. Be just, for this is closest to righteousness…” (Quran
Islam is a religion based on peace and justice. For some
crimes, Muslims think that death is a fair punishment.
To let someone off would be an injustice to the victim and
their family and also it would be bad for society.
It is also seen as a deterrent that helps to keep people and
their property safe.
For capital punishment to be legal, the accused must be
given a fair trial in a court of law and be found guilty.
The Qur’an says:
 'Whoever killed a human being, except as punishment for
murder...shall be deemed as though they had killed all
 The punishment of those who wage war against God...and
strive with...mischief through the land is: execution
Islam treats the subject of alcohol and drug abuse very
Taking alcohol or drugs is haram - totally forbidden.
The Qur’an says:
 Believers, do not approach your prayers when you are drunk,
but wait till you grasp the meaning of your words. (Qur'an
 Satan stirs up hatred among you by means of wine and
gambling … Will you not abstain from them? (Qur’an 5:90)
 They ask you about drinking and gambling. Say, ‘There is
great harm in both, although they have some benefit for
men; but their harm is far greater than their benefit.’ (Qur’an

RS08 A3 Unit 4 – Crime and Punishment