What is the concept of "general deterrence"?n/a

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The idea of general deterrence is one of the major reasons for having punishments for crime.  It is the idea that having punishments for crimes will prevent people from committing those crimes.  They will see the punishments given to others who commit the crimes, so they themselves will be deterred.

This is one of the major arguments behind having the death penalty.  The argument goes that people will see others get executed for certain crimes.  Because of that, they will be afraid of the punishment and will not want to risk it.