Crime and Punishment - Paignton Online · PDF file Corporal punishment means physical...
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Crime and Punishment
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Why do people break the law?
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Why do we punish people?
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! Corporal punishment means physical punishment; capital punishment is the death penalty.
! There have been many ways of carrying out the death penalty including being burnt at the stake, stoned to death, hanged, beheaded, drawn and quartered and torn apart by animals.
! One of the most frequent forms of the death penalty in the ancient world was crucifixion. It was still used by some countries as late as the 19th century.
! The death penalty was often carried out in public. ! In Britain in 1957 the law was changed so that capital
punishment was only used for crimes involving multiple- murders, guns or explosives, killing police officers or killing someone during a robbery.
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! James Hanratty was one of the last people to be hanged in England – for the murder of a man and the raping and shooting of his lover. Many people think that Hanratty was innocent and so feel that the death sentence can never be justified.
! The death penalty was finally abolished in England, Scotland and Wales in 1969 and in Northern Ireland in 1973.
! Parliament still debates whether to bring back the death penalty (it has voted four times since 1970). When Parliament votes on this subject MP’s don’t have to follow a Party line but can have a free vote to express their views and the views of the people they represent.
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Is capital punishment acceptable?
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The Bible and punishment
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Make your own mind up
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Should we forgive?
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Islam and crime
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What the Koran says about…
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Judaism and crime
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Hinduism and crime
Hindus believe that we need a system of human law and order because, if we did not, people would be able to do whatever they wanted. This would result in anarchy, with no peace and justice in the world.
In its early days, when Hindu society was made up of small social units, each small kingdom was ruled by a king who set and administered law for the good of society. As society changed, a more widespread system of justice was needed.
An ancient Hindu script called The Laws of Manu gives guidelines on what should be considered as crimes and what the punishments for those crimes should be.
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Hinduism teaches that crimes need to be punished for a number of reasons – to stop the criminal doing it again; so that society can have its revenge for the crime that has been committed; to reform the criminal and to protect society. The death penalty is allowed in Hinduism for the most serious of crimes, including murder.
Hindus believe that all actions have either good or bad karma and that the karma a Hindu builds up in this life will affect their next life. If a criminal is not caught and punished in this life, their punishment will be in a future existence.
Shama (forgiveness) is very important in Hinduism and can have a profound effect on a person’s karma – they believe that to forgive in this life will bring a better existence in the next.
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What is social injustice?
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How can people fight social injustice?
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! Amnesty International – works to help those who are in prison because of their beliefs
! Trevor Huddleston – worked against apartheid in South Africa
! Archbishop Desmond Tutu – worked against apartheid in South Africa
! Martin Luther King – worked on behalf of the blacks in America.
Choose one of the following (or another person or group that you know about) and research how they have fought against social injustice:
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! The Bible teaches justice and equality for all, both in the Old and New Testaments. Jesus said ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, to set free the oppressed’ (Luke 4:18).
! In many developing countries, particularly in South America, a movement called Liberation Theology has worked to help those who are exploited or who do not have equal rights. This is a Christian movement which welcomes people from all denominations to work together. These people believe that if they are true followers of Jesus then they must act to help others. They are even prepared to break the law if that is what they believe God is telling them to do; as St. Paul said, ‘We must obey God, not men’ (Acts 5:29).
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! Oscar Romero was the Archbishop of El Salvador who preached equality and led the people in opposition to a repressive government. He was assassinated while leading a service of mass in a hospital chapel in 1980. Romero was an example of Christians who follow Liberation Theology, he said “Christ’s sacrifice give us the courage to offer our own bodies for justice and peace.”
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Islam, Judaism and social justice
Both Jews and Muslims believe that all people should be treated fairly.
The Old Testament tells the Jews to look after foreigners in their land. Jews believe that they should be generous to the poor – both individuals and nations who are in need. To do this Jews are expected to give one tenth of their wealth to others (tzedaka).
Islam teaches that the poor, needy, handicapped, orphans and elderly should all be cared for and it is the duty of all Muslims to contribute to this.
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Hinduism and social justice