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  1. The use of capital punishment


    Defend or reject the use of capital punishment with one or more of the ethical theories discussed so far in this course.
    Describe the three ethical frameworks for punishment: utilitarianism, deontology, and peacemaking. Which one do you think should serve as the ethical framework for punishment today? Why?
    Ethical principles are not as clear-cut for probation officers as they are for police officers. A probation officer must serve as both a mentor to the clients as well as a law enforcer. Discuss the ethical systems that guide the work of a probation officer and describe how they may present the officer with difficulties on the job.



Subject Law and governance Pages 4 Style APA


Addressing Various Aspects of the Correctional System

Use Capital Punishment or Not?

Under the utilitarian theory, the employment of capital punishment can assist in minimizing crime rates so that people eventually become safer (Wilson & Rule, 2016). It is contended that capital punishment has the ability of minimizing crime rates since it serves as a hindrance to future criminal acts (William, 2018). When offenders receive a death sentence, the implication is that they cannot commit any other crime in the society, thus the community or society benefits from reduced or cessation of criminal acts. Similarly, the families and relatives of the victims would also get consolation since the death verdict on the offender would get closure or. Thus, using the utilitarian theory, it is agreed that capital punishment is necessary since it makes societies and communities happier and safer from criminal acts (Hennig & Hütter, 2020). Thus, it is justified to use capital punishment. 

Utilitarianism, Deontology, and Peacemaking

As aforementioned, according to utilitarianism, the employment of punishment is legitimate if it is employed to prevent criminals from further causing harm to the society so that the society can be kept safe. According to this week’s notes, advocates of utilitarianism believe in the greatest good for the majority of people (McRae, 2017). While ADUI checkpoints may be considered as inconveniencing to motorists, according to the utilitarianism, they are considered helpful in providing safer streets for  the majority of road users (William, 2018). Generally, under the utilitarianism concept, punishment is vindicated since it provides satisfaction to victims of criminal acts along with the society as a whole.

Hennig and Hütter (2020) explain that peacemaking criminology is a concept that endorses socially, nonviolent techniques for tackling offenders and victims and, eventually, realizing social control within a community/society. Apart from in dealing with crimes, Wilson and Rule (2016) note that the peacemaking criminology can be employed in addressing racism, sexism, homelessness, and poverty, among other social ills. Similarly, deontology refers to an ethical structure that takes the approach of concentration by focusing on the wrong and right of actions and situations (Fleischmann et al., 2019). Whereas peacemaking provides a nonviolent approach to retribution, utilitarianism ought to be implemented to minimize the amount and frequency of violence in societies. This is because the eventual objective of the utilitarianism it to minimize the rate of crimes and make societies feel safer as a whole. It equally aids in reforming the society by reforming the offenders and offering healing opportunities to the victims of criminal acts (McRae, 2017). Therefore, the utilitarianism is the ethical framework for retribution presently.

Ethical Systems That Guide Probation Officer s’s Work

A probation officer’s job is very demanding and taxing since they are held to nearly a higher level because of the responsibility they hold as mentors to their clients as well as their responsibility as officers of the criminal justice system (Clare, 2015). According to Viglione et al. (2018), probation officers role play in monitoring criminals put under court supervision as a substitution to imprisonment. To achieve their objectives, probation officers must deal with shrinking budgets, large caseloads, and intricate paperwork demands, and inspire rehabilitation in criminals with violent criminal pasts or issues of addiction (Clare, 2015). A look at the course work reveals that the ethical systems that are guiding probation officers’ work deal with the wrong and right as well as the capability of fully doing their roles with limited resources. Consequently, these make probation officers’ work environment stressful and can cause probation officers to make unethical choices/decisions. For instance, if an offender is 50 seconds late to appointment to probation, a probation officer must decide to whether or not report the client or allow them slide.



Clare, R. (2015). Maintaining professional practice: The role of the probation officer in community rehabilitation companies. Probation Journal, 62(1), 49–61. https://doi.org/10.1177/0264550514561776

Fleischmann, A., Lammers, J., Conway, P., & Galinsky, A. D. (2019). Paradoxical Effects of Power on Moral Thinking: Why Power Both Increases and Decreases Deontological and Utilitarian Moral Decisions. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 10(1), 110–120. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550617744022

Hennig, M., & Hütter, M. (2020). Revisiting the divide between deontology and utilitarianism in moral dilemma judgment: A multinomial modeling approach. Journal of personality and social psychology118(1), 22–56. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspa0000173

McRae, D. (2017). Indonesian Capital Punishment in Comparative Perspective. Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia, 173(1), 1-22. doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/22134379-17301002

Viglione, J., Blasko, B. L., & Taxman, F. S. (2018). Organizational Factors and Probation Officer Use of Evidence-Based Practices: A Multilevel Examination. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 62(6), 1648–1667. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X16681091

William, E. C. (2018). The will, capital punishment, and cultural war”. Cultural Studies and Political Theory, edited by Jodi Dean, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, pp. 23-41. https://doi.org/10.7591/9781501721229-002

Wilson, J. P., & Rule, N. O. (2016). Hypothetical Sentencing Decisions Are Associated With Actual Capital Punishment Outcomes: The Role of Facial Trustworthiness. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 7(4), 331–338. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550615624142



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