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Forms of Punishment

 This article focuses on the forms of punishment found in criminal jurisprudence. Punishment is definitely one of the options to stop crimes in society. But it is a well-known fact that crimes cannot be put to an end entirely. Crimes cannot be ignored; an equal or equivalent degree of punishment must be inflicted upon the offender in order to create deterrence in society.

What is punishment?

There is no such strict or rigid definition for punishment various jurists have given their definitions of punishment. In general, punishment may be called the infliction of suffering in the form of pain or property by the crown or the authority by the due procedure of law or procedure established by law.

Forms of punishment-

  1. Flogging- Flogging is one of the most popular punishments in middle east countries. Flogging is a type of punishment where it involves continuous beating with leather material. But the material differs from country to country.

  2. Mutilation- Mutilation is a type of punishment where the organs of the offender are chopped off. It is a punishment that was used in early times. The supporters of this punishment advance an argument that it helps in setting deterrence and retribution.

  3. Branding- Branding is a type of punishment where marks are left on the body in the form of scars that can be easily noticeable. 

  4. Stoning- This form of punishment is popular among Islamic nations. The offenders in this type of punishment are stoned to death. It is one of the most barbaric punishments practiced. 

  5. Pillory- Pillory is one of the most barbaric and cruel forms of punishment. In this form of punishment, the offender is made to stand on a pillar with his hands and legs tied up. He may be inflicted with whipping or stoning. This form of punishment was practiced in India during the Moghul rule.

  6. Amercement- Amercement is similar to a fine but in a fine usually, a fixed sum is charged which has the backup of statute but in amercement, it is the arbitrary amount fixed for the small offenses.

  7. Fines- Fines are usually for offenses of civil nature and are less serious in nature. Fines are the adequate form of punishment for the offenses of fraud, theft, embezzlement, gambling, loitering, violation of traffic rules, etc.

  8. Forfeiture of property- It means loss of property for the violation of the law. In the Indian legal system, it can be seen in the provisions of the Indian Penal Code under Sections 126, 129, 169.

  9. Collateral Sanctions- In this form of punishment the offenders are not entitled to any public benefits and schemes. This form of punishment is relevant in the U.S.A. Some examples of such sanctions are debarring entry into bars, pubs, not permitting driving licenses, curtailing the right to vote, etc.

  10.  Security Bond- It is not a form of punishment but it is an effective way to restraint the offender from committing a crime by keeping a security bond for good behaviour.

  11. Imprisonment- This includes solitary confinement, rigorous imprisonment, simple imprisonment, and imprisonment for life. This mode of punishment aims to curtail the liberty of the offender and to reform the offender in prison so that he can join society with civility.

  12. Capital Punishment- It is one of the most controversial forms of punishment. It leads to the death of the offender. Some sections under the Indian Penal Code which provide for capital punishment are Section 121, 132, 194, 302, 305, 307, 364-A, 396.



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