Crime and Punishment

Eve Hawkins
Mind Map by Eve Hawkins, updated more than 1 year ago
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A mind-map of all the key points covered in the RE Crime and Punishment unit

Resource summary

Crime and Punishment
1 Law and justice
1.1 Why justice is important for Christians
1.1.1 Bible says that God is just and will reward the good and punish the bad who sin
1.1.2 Bible and Jesus say Christians should treat people equally and fairly
1.1.3 The church encourages Christians to work for justice eg. Jubilee 2000 to cancel world debt charged to poor countries
1.2 Why justice is important for muslims
1.2.1 Qur'an says that Allah is just and will reward the good and punish the bad on the last day
1.2.2 Islam teaches that it is unjust to charge interest on money as it takes money from the poor
1.2.3 The Shari'ah says Muslims must act justly
1.2.4 The pillar of Zakah means all Muslims must give to charity every year
1.3 Why we need laws
1.3.1 scenes of rioting and vandalism of cars and property
1.3.2 normal daily life breaks down completely
1.3.3 the weak are exploited
1.3.4 anarchy and destruction
1.3.5 civilisation breaks down
1.3.6 everything that people have achieved is destroyed
1.4 Why we need justice
1.4.1 if some laws are unjust, this may lead people to believe that all laws are unjust and if this is the case then laws aren't fulfilling their job
1.4.2 If a law is unjust then people will think it's right to break laws. This attitude could cause the whole basis of society to disintegrate.
1.4.3 If a law is unjust, people wont obey it and may campaign against it, causing trouble in society. eg. Civil rights, campaign in US Rosa Parks bus boycott (lost money- bus companies put pressure on the government)
1.4.4 If laws don't create a just society, people will think the legal system is not working and may start a civil war eg. Kosora against the Serbian legal system
1.4.5 If laws are unjust they will disrupt society rather than unite society
2 Theories of punishment and arguments for and against them
2.1 Retribution
2.1.1 POSITIVES
2.1.1.1 the victims feel that the criminal got what they deserved and are suffering for what they have done
2.1.2 NEGATIVES
2.1.2.1 retribution doesn't work - victims often feel the criminal has not been punished enough
2.1.2.2 victims do not feel justice has been done so cannot move on.
2.1.2.3 in cases of murder, some would argue that retribution can never be achieved
2.2 Deterrence
2.2.1 POSITIVES
2.2.1.1 punishment may put someone off doing this action again.
2.2.1.2 punishment will stop someone doing it in the first place if they have seen someone punished
2.2.2 NEGATIVES
2.2.2.1 prison figures are increasing
2.2.2.2 prisons full
2.2.2.3 almost half of all prisoners commit crime again once released
2.3 Reform
2.3.1 POSITIVES
2.3.1.1 allows criminals to gain education and job training so that once related they can become a law abiding citizen
2.3.2 NEGATIVES
2.3.2.1 it simply does't work - people are who they are and are unable to change
2.3.2.2 some argue reform isn't punishment - teaching and education goes against what punishment is supposed to be
2.4 Protection
2.4.1 POSTIVES
2.4.1.1 by keeping criminals locked up in prison they can cause no harm to the public
2.4.2 NEGATIVES
2.4.2.1 it only works while criminals are locked away
2.4.2.2 many are being released back into society and commit crimes again
3 Capital punishment
3.1 China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the US have had the most executions in the world last year.
3.2 non-religious reasons FOR
3.2.1 retribution- people who commit serious crimes like murder, deserve to die
3.2.2 deterrence- a death penalty makes people afraid to commit crime (there is no evidence for this)
3.2.3 protection- with re-offending rates at 70%, we do not want to release murderers from prison incase they reoffend
3.2.4 it is cheaper to kill people. Consider £30,000 per year to keep someone in prison for life, vs. the one-off cost of an execution (though, evidence from the USA shows trials cost up to 3 times as much as in death penalty cases
3.3 non-religious reasons AGAINST
3.3.1 it is impossible to rectify mistakes. If you execute someone and then find out they were innocent there is nothing you can do.
3.3.1.1 Timothy Evans, Mahmood Mattan, David Bantley
3.3.2 there is no evidence that the death penalty is more of a deterrent than prison. In the USA, there are more capital crimes committed per head of the population of the UK
3.3.3 there is no opportunity for reformation. There have been several cases of serious criminals such as Nicky Cruz, who have turned from a life of crime to help people in later life
3.4 Christian arguments FOR
3.4.1 "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" = the punishment should be fitting for the crime
3.4.2 "whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed" = capital punishment should be used on those that take a life
3.4.3 "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established" = christians should obey the laws and punishments of the government of the country they are living in
3.5 Christian arguments AGAINST
3.5.1 "thou shalt not kill" = killing in any circumstance and for any reason is wrong
3.5.2 Bible teaches that life is sacred and only God can take life, even as punishment-sanctity of life
3.5.3 Jesus banned revenge and retribution when he said 'an eye for an eye' was wrong "if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to them the other also".
3.6 Muslim arguments FOR
3.6.1 God sets down this punishment in the Qur'an for murder, adultery and apostasy
3.6.2 Mohammed sentenced people to death and he is the exemplar of a good muslim
3.6.3 Shari'ah sets down this punishment for some crimes
3.7 Muslim arguments AGAINST
3.7.1 capital punishment is recommended but not compulsory
3.7.2 Shari'ah says the victims of the family can claim blood money instead of the death penalty
3.7.3 The Qur'an gives strict guidelines under which the death penalty can be given but these are rarely met so it should not be used
4 Drugs and Alcohol
4.1 drugs and the law
4.1.1 ILLEGAL DRUGS: heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD and cannabis
4.1.2 RECREATIONAL DRUGS: people use for pleasure and relaxation. Most are illegal, however tobacco and alcohol are legal (some religions would class caffeine as a recreational drug)
4.1.3 PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: prescribed by a doctor to treat a medical condition, and are legal
4.2 alcohol and the law
4.2.1 have to be 18 to buy alcohol in the UK
4.2.2 cannot drink and drive
4.2.3 cannot serve or sell alcohol to a drunk person
4.2.4 pubs need licences to sell alcohol on their premises
4.2.5 an 'off-licence' has a licence to sell alcohol to be taken off the premises
4.3 effects of drugs and alcohol
4.3.1 caffeine is a stimulant - keeps people alert and awake
4.3.2 alcohol is a depressant: relaxes people - can cause depression- makes people dunk - can lose control
4.3.3 cannabis is often taken as a relaxant: can be taken for pain relief or for a high - can cause mental health issues
4.3.4 cocaine is a stimulant that lasts for 30 mins: highly addictive and expensive -can lead to heart problems and convulsions - an overdose can kill
4.3.5 heroine is an opiate: relaxes people, relieves pain - highly addictive - can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms, make people sick - overdose can kill - diseases can spread through the needles the addicts use
4.3.6 drugs can ruin family life as the pressure on loved ones can be very difficult - can lead to financial ruin
4.4 Christian teachings on drugs
4.4.1 The bible says that your body is the temple of the holy spirit - suggests you should treat it with respect as it is made by God and holy
4.4.2 The bible says "thou shalt not kill" - taking/dealing drugs can lead to death and violent crime
4.4.3 bible says Christians should obey the governing authorities - suggests they should follow the government;s law, especially on drugs
4.4.4 Jesus taught people to love thy neighbour - selling illegal drugs is not a loving thing to do
4.4.5 the 10 commandments state "honour your mother and father" - suggests ruining a family through drug use is wrong
4.4.6 jesus helped the sick so he would not be against medicinal drugs
4.5 Christian reasons FOR alcohol
4.5.1 paul encouraged timothy to drink for medical reasons
4.5.2 Jesus turned water into wine
4.5.3 drinking in moderation is acceptable if it doesnt lead to sin
4.6 Christian reasons AGAINST alcohol
4.6.1 drinking encourages others to drink too much
4.6.2 alcohol is much stronger and more dangerous today than in Bible times
4.6.3 drinking water in Bible times was dangerous - alcohol was safer
4.6.4 alcohol abuse in rampant in society - best not to drink as an example to others
4.7 Muslim views on drugs and alcohol
4.7.1 dont abuse bodies with drugs and alcohol - the Qur'an states: "Do not make your own hands contribute to your own destruction".
4.7.2 Qur'an forbids alcohol
4.7.2.1 Mohammed also banned and didn't use it
4.7.3 Islam teaches that a person who is not sick doesn't need drugs
4.7.4 taking drugs is forbidden under Shari'ah law
4.7.4.1 Muslims should obey the laws of the land (eg. UK laws)
4.7.5 Allah gave you a body - it is his to take away, not the user's
4.7.6 can distract from prayer and encourage sin
4.7.7 some Muslims smoke.
4.7.7.1 many will sell alcohol and tobacco at corner shops
4.7.7.2 many others would find selling alcohol unacceptable
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