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Retribution theory is based on the notion of vindictive justice. The idea behind this theory is that one should suffer the same pain he or she caused the other person to suffer. In case the offender killed the offended, he should also be killed. Similarly, if he removed the victim’s eye, his eye should also be removed. Theorist of retribution theory argue that a person should be made to go through the same suffering the offended went through even if there will be no gain of the suffering. Incapacitation is the unique form of specific dissuasion, although intended at a different period. The sole aim of incapacitation is to maintain the wrongdoers from committing other crime while still in prison cells. It is not meant at limiting future behaviors.
Historically, retribution theory applied in most societies. The relatives of the offended were responsible of making the offender pay for wronging their kinsmen. In case the offended is dead, the relatives were supposed to kill the offender on behalf of the deceased. The government later took retaliation right from people. The state also believed that the person who has caused another person to suffer should also suffer. Theorist of retribution theory argued that the family and friends of the offended might not cooperate if the offender is not unpunished. Therefore, it was important to initialize criminal law to institute justice (Feeley & Simon, 1992).
On the other hand, supporters of the punishment incapacitation theory advocate that wrongdoers should be limited from committing more misconducts either by their permanent or temporary removal from community or by other means that limit their physical capability to reoffend in other means. Incarceration makes the most mutual methods of incapacitating lawbreakers. However, more severe forms like capital punishment are used. The overall objective of incapacitation is preventing the most prolific or dangerous criminals from recidivism in the society.