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Is there a modern day punishment that is equivalent to banishment, as in the story of...

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jungborah5689 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 1, 2013 at 12:47 AM via web

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Is there a modern day punishment that is equivalent to banishment, as in the story of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:50 PM (Answer #1)

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There doesn't seem to be a law today that is so general as banishment was back in Shakespeare's time. Back then, all banishment meant was never to be seen in the town again; today, however, society takes more of a responsibility for its own criminals by housing them in jail so that the criminal won't go into other towns and cause more havoc. Of course, these are all general statements and individual situations are taken separately at the court level in order to secure a person's right to due process. One aspect of punishment that would have to be considered for Romeo today would be the fact that he is a juvenile when he kills Tybalt. This fact would change the jurisdiction of the matter over to those who deal with under-aged minors rather than adults. Therefore, different laws might pertain to a minor than an adult in Romeo's situation. Certain recourses might be placed in the situation in order to redirect the youth onto a better path for life. Service hours, work hours, and counseling might be types of "punishment" required by the order of a judge before Romeo would be allowed back in school, for example. In a way, suspension from school is a type of banishment; although, it is based on conditions that the child should meet in order to be accepted back into society. Another similar punishment that we have today that might parallel banishment would be Restraining Orders. The judge who presides over each specific case would analyze the complaints of the petitioner and determine what the criteria would be in order to keep a person away from another person, business, or organization.

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