Role of Theories of Punishment in the Policy of Sentencing

40 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2007

Date Written: January 10, 2007


In this article it is proposed to analyze various theories of punishment. Austin considered sanction as an essential ingredient of law. It is only through sanction that obedience to law can be secured. Sanction is nothing but inflicting pain or injury upon the wrong doer. This in a way can be called punishment. The immediate consequence of a criminal act is punishment. The term punishment is defined as, pain, suffering, loss, confinement or other penalty inflicted on a person for an offence by the authority to which the offender is subjected to. Punishment is a social custom and institutions are established to award punishment after following criminal justice process, which insists that the offender must be guilty and the institution must have the authority to punish. In this article an attempt is made to discuss the policy of sentencing vis-a-vis various theories of punishment and their efficacy and effectiveness in the light of modern penology.

Keywords: Theories of Punishment, Capital Punishment, Deterrent, Retributive, Preventive and Reformative Theory, Sentencing pollicy

JEL Classification: K31

Suggested Citation

Krishna Kumari, Areti, Role of Theories of Punishment in the Policy of Sentencing (January 10, 2007). Available at SSRN: or

Areti Krishna Kumari (Contact Author)

GMR Infrastructure Ltd., EPC Division ( email )

Block A: Rajiv Gandhi International Airport
Shamshabad, Rangareddy Dt 501218

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