Before turning to discuss the subject of this chapter—punishment of sex offenders—it is important to discuss the general characteristics of punishment as a whole. Antony Flew holds that punishment must contain at least five elements that distinguish this term from other hardships people may suffer from. First, the person who is punished must consider it a hardship or unpleasantness; this means that a punishment cannot be something beneficial to the punished person I will argue later in this chapter that the rehabilitation of offenders cannot be considered punishments. Second, it should be a reaction to an offense, meaning that people should not be arbitrarily punished for no reason. Third, it should be inflicted only on the guilty offender and not imposed on innocent victims or suspects whose guilt has not been proven. This is a very important component, since it prohibits us from arbitrarily punishing persons who did not commit a crime or an offense.
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Why the sex offender registry isn’t the right way to punish rapists
T he men file in, a few wearing pressed button-down shirts, others jeans caked in mud from work on a construction site. They meet in the living room of an old taupe bungalow on a leafy street in a small Southern city. Someone has shoved a workout bike into the corner to make room for a circle of overstuffed chairs dug up at the local Goodwill. The men jockey for a coveted recliner and settle in. They are complaining about co-workers and debating the relative merits of various trucks when a faint beeping interrupts the conversation.