Corporal punishment

Corporal punishment as a penalty for crimes can have various forms: flogging, exposure to public abuse, branding, amputation. All are intended to physically humiliate the condemned, to cause physical pain. The intention seems to be that the fear of pain will act as a deterrent to crime, and that physical chastisement will motivate the condemned to reform.
Proponents of corporal punishment have often quoted the Bible as justification: "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."
1. Corporal punishment is an abomination. Replacing it with incarceration marks a significant moral advance.

2. Does corporal punishment deter? There is a widespread tendency to exaggerate its deterrent effect and evidence that it does not deter. Does it reform? Only those who need reform the least. Is is suitable retribution? Only if it is suitable to be physically harsh with those who have been physically harmful. Corporal punishment may be effective when administered by someone in a sustained, predictable and loving relationship with the person punished. But the question remains, is it really necessary?

It is possible that there are cathartic benefits for society to be derived from a spectacle of extreme savagery, such as a public flogging. In the calculus of cruelty, the gentler rigours of the penitentiary may count as a regression, since to be perpetually under surveillance for a long period may be worse than to be tortured.
(D) Detailed problems