Deterrence vs Retribution
Deterrence and Retribution are two legal terms that are often understood to mean one and the same concept, but strictly there is some difference between the two. Deterrent is something that prevents and stops someone from doing something wrong. It prevents him from wrong doing. On the other hand retribution is creating and causing pain with an intention behind the act. This is the chief difference between the two legal terms.
Deterrence cautions the person that has committed an error before not to commit the same wrong again. It sounds a note of caution on the wrong doer. On the other hand the person who causes and inflicts pain in others by retribution does it as part of sadism. The doer is sadistic in his approach.
On the other hand the concept of deterrence does not involve sadism. The person will simply be cautioned in the case of deterrence that he will receive the same kind of punishment that he received previously for committing the wrong of similar nature.
It is interesting to note that deterrence is a kind of lesson to others too in the sense that the doers of wrong are automatically cautioned about the consequences of the wrong. Hence deterrence is an act of prevention and caution.
Retribution on the other hand is a situation wherein you get even with the offender. Retribution is sometimes considered an act of revenge too in some countries. It is important to believe that retribution affects the victim that is sometimes dead and it does not directly affects the family members of the dead victim.
As part of summing up the difference between deterrence and retribution it can be said that the act of retribution is something like becoming even with the felon whereas the act of deterrence is doing something to the felon. Something that is done to the felon is in relation to the prevention of the crime.
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