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This circle focused on reforming the criminal justice system.
The probability of punishment, rather than its severity, would be enough to prevent criminal behavior.
This means the people can choose to give or restrict governmental power. Beccaria claimed that criminal punishment was only justified in order to further the social contract.
For this reason, he classified treason as the most serious crime because it violates the social contract. Utilitarianism piggybacks on the social contract theory and refers to the belief that the government should only legislate in ways that provide the greatest public good.
Beccaria argued against retribution, which is a criminal punishment theory that maintains punishment is payment for harm done. This is a type of prevention where the threat of punishment outweighs the urge to commit a crime.
In order to provide the most deterrent effect, he felt punishment must: Did you know…