deterrence


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Deterrence

A theory that criminal laws are passed with well-defined punishments to discourage individual criminal defendants from becoming repeat offenders and to discourage others in society from engaging in similar criminal activity

Deterrence is one of the primary objects of the Criminal Law. Its primary goal is to discourage members of society from committing criminal acts out of fear of punishment. The most powerful deterrent would be a criminal justice system that guaranteed with certainty that all persons who broke the law would be apprehended, convicted, and punished, and would receive no personal benefit from their wrongdoing. However, it is unrealistic to believe that any criminal justice system could ever accomplish this goal, no matter how many law enforcement resources were dedicated to achieving it.

As a result, philosophers, criminologists, judges, lawyers, and others have debated whether and to what extent any criminal justice system actually serves as a deterrent. Deterrence requires the would-be criminal to possess some degree of reflective capacity before the crime is committed, at least enough reflection to consider the possible consequences of violating the law if caught.

Since many crimes are committed during "the heat of the moment" when an individual's reflective capacities are severely compromised, most observers agree that some crimes simply cannot be deterred. Individuals who commit crimes for the thrill of "getting away with it" and outwitting law enforcement officials probably cannot be deterred either. In fact, such individuals may only be tempted and encouraged by law enforcement claims of superior crime-prevention and crime-solving skills.

Cross-references

Criminology; Justification; Motive.

deterrence

noun abridgment, active discourageeent, admonition, barrier, block, blockade, caveat, check, compulsion, constraint, constriction, contraindication, control, curb, detainment, deterrent, disincentive, dissuasion, extinguishment, frustration, halt, hindrance, hurdle, impediment, impedition, inhibition, interference, intimidation, legal reetraint, limitation, means of restraint, monition, obstacle, obstruction, opposition, preclusion, prevention, prophylaxis, proscription, quashing, repression, restraint, restriction, stop, striction, stumbling block, suppression, thwarter
Associated concepts: deterrence of crime
Foreign phrases: Nemo prudens punit ut praeterita revooentur, sed ut futura praeveniantur.No wise man punnshes in order that past things may be revoked, but that fuuure wrongs may be prevented. Poena ad paucos, metus ad omnes perveniat. If punishment be inflicted on a few, a fear comes to all.
See also: control, deterrent, disadvantage, disincentive, fetter, impasse, prohibition, restraint, restriction
References in periodicals archive ?
And American policymakers have made clear that deterrence is not limited to the cyber realm (though that is possible).
He said deterrence was largely a misunderstood concept and 'some have come to believe that even a stone cannot be hurled at us'.
He identified three imperatives for deterrence. First, enabling geostrategic environment that includes sustainable mechanism for dispute resolution; second, strategic restraint and responsibility, and third, the maintenance of balance in nuclear deterrence capabilities through arms control rather than competition.
Part 1: New Century--Deterrence for the Twenty-First Century--extends Clausewitz's statement that "war is politics by other means" to "deterrence is politics by all means"-DIME.
SSQ: How does military reluctance to engage in conflict affect political decisions concerning conventional deterrence?
The experience during the strategic deterrence patrol has thrown up a number of lessons for the future.
"Iran's military deterrence power is unique and this deterrence power caused the aggressors to forget about any military attack against Iran," General Sanayee Raad said, addressing a ceremony in the Northeastern province of Zanjan.
Supporters insist that, its existential menace notwithstanding, deterrence kept the peace during the Cold War and has done the same since.
Deterrence Stability is a term often use similar as Strategic Stability, but it is distinct from it.
Before one embraces the design and development of a nation state cyber deterrent strategy, it is important to understand the basic concepts of deterrence and what it entails for a strategy of cyber deterrence.
Peco's point about deterrence raises two further questions.
IPRI President Abdul Basit said the presentation of India's nuclear strategy in the doctrine is alarming since it has opted to use the terms "Credible Deterrence" instead of "Credible Minimum Deterrence".