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Volume :8 Issue : 3 1980      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

The Attitudes of Kuwaiti Toward Crime and Punishment

Auther : F.Al-Thakeb / J.Scott

Sociologists, legal scholars and Criminologists have long presumed some national correspondence between moral indignation and severity of punishment. This study suggests that moral indignation has little or nothing to do with the penalty structure for criminal offenses. This paper is based on the results of a questionnaire designed to measure public attitudes regarding appropriate punishment for 22 different crime. The choice of penalty in each instance reflected respondent punitive ness and moral indignation. Thus the stiffer the penalty, the higher the presumed level of moral indignation . The average sanction selected by our sample – 300 Kuwaiti citizens- is regarded as the representative level of moral indignation or punitive ness. These levels were calculated by talking the median punishment for each category; multiplying that figure by the number of respondents advocating that level for each offence, and then dividing by the total number of respondents. Analysis of variance was used ,and the results in tables 1-4 represent the average number of imprisonment days suggested by respondents for selected offenses. This research, given its limitations, certainly suggests that the punishment often does not fit the crime, as seen by the public. There is some discrepancies between citizens preference and penalties currently imposed. This is well documented in case of white collar crime offenses viewed as serious acts by most respondents, yet seldom prosecuted ; moreover victimless crime, such as prostitution, homosexuality, and illegal abortion, while viewed as serious offenses, are treated for the most part quite leniently. It seems that there is a great deal of similarity in the perceived wrongness of various offensive behavior, and that the existing penalty structures do not reflect public moral indignation.

 

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