IELTS  7  Writing Model Essay (Free sample)

Test 2 Task 2 Question

Write about the following topic:

Some people believe that there should be fixed punishments for each type of crime. Others, however, argue that the circumstances of an individual crime, and the motivation for committing it, should always be taken into account when deciding on the punishment.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Test 2 Task 2 Model Essay by an Expert One

It has become more and more common in Western counties to create laws that ensure that certain types of crime always result in a standard “mandatory minimum” sentence. Many politicians who support this argue that it is useful for preventing crime. The temptation to commit certain offenses becomes less and less as the mandatory minimum sentence increases. Consequently, they argue, these fixed punishments prevent crime. On the other hand, many people believe that these fixed punishments do not have the desired effect, and that it can be unhelpful and even unfair to impose punishments this way. In this essay I will discuss both sides of the matter, but argue ultimately that fixed punishments have a negative effect on the court and prison system, as well as the society at large.

In Canada the government passed a “get tough on gun crime” bill that imposed a minimum prison sentence for those who had committed crimes involving firearms. When one looks into the reasons for the bill, however, this “getting tough” makes little sense. Countries that ban handguns and control most firearms like Canada often have low and declining rates of gun violence. In Canada, the rate has been dropping every year, and continues to do so. So why did the government spend time and effort creating a “getting tough” policy? Many wonder whether or not these measures are create to be sensational and win favor with voters. It is hard in these cases to demonstrate how drop in the crime rate is a direct result of these fixed punishments.

On the other hand, many victims of gun crime and other types of serious crime want the fixed sentences in order to make sure that no criminal goes unpunished. It is clear that victims have a right to be heard in this debate. But this type of thinking can often tie the hands of judges who know the particular circumstances of a crime, but are forced to give punishments that have already been established. At its worst, this can lead to unfair sentencing. In cases of serious crimes it is difficult to say when a punishment is enough, and there will always be voices asking for punishments to be more severe.

Because we should think about sentencing criminals not in terms of punishment but in terms of reducing crime, I believe there is no need for fixed punishments. They can cause a lot of harm, and it is often unclear whether or not they achieve the aim of reducing crime through increased harshness.

(421 words)

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