Since the inception of recorded history, societies have punished offenders of law through justice systems and based this practice on rational or moral grounds to emphasize the relationship between punishment and justice. The philosophical approach which justifies this practice argues that the morality of punishment procedures can be justified when the sentence imposed is a useful tool for deterring further crimes and reducing the rate of recidivism. On this concern, different criminal justice systems tend to strike varying balances between the practice of severity, swiftness, and certainty while codifying their criminal laws and punishment systems. This paper discusses the genealogy of deterrence theories through the works of philosophers. The research includes document analysis of various reports centring on punishment. It utilises Delphi method to include narratives of 30 legal professionals in India, reflecting the role of moral & social stance in deciding various punishments towards the offender within the criminal justice system. The paper resonates with the public sentiments through multiple empirical & statistical data over the objective of a moral & social deterrence through Cesare Beccaria’s principles of punishment. The paper generates themes from the data to identify lacunas in the traditional criminal justice system and emphasises the role of punishment as deterrence within the society. The paper identifies the inefficacy of the traditional mode of punishment and its psychological impact on offenders.
Keywords: Cesare Beccaria, Deterrence, Penology, Criminal Justice System, Punishment