Disconnection and the Death Penalty: Sister Helen Prejean. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. Discuss the moral implications of capital punishment. Through his cynical wit he argues that humanitarian ideas on justice are misplaced and that concepts of pardon and mercy are mere illusions people use for their own ends. The area of contention arises when discussing whether or not it is ethical to inflict death upon a human being regardless. It views society as one organism. First Library Assignment Utilitarianism supports Capital Punishment directly due to many claims.
And so, Rousseau maintains, the political society has the right to put to death, even as an example, those who cannot be preserved without danger to others or the society itself. Discrimination: Race, Class Criminal justice systems that administer the death penalty operate in the context of a society that may or may not itself be entirely just. Moved by the compassionate sentimentality of a humane feeling, he has asserted that all capital punishment is wrong in itself and unjust. I initially thought that they would support it because it would give closure to some families and that it would rid the world of a vicious criminal, but I was wrong. And I am not putting things at the worst, for it is proved by the experience of other countries that horror of the executioner by no means necessarily implies horror of the assassin. Third, punishment can rehabilitate offenders.
At least as far as society on the outside is concerned, the criminal cannot offend while locked up, and that is a good thing. And to the extent that such satisfactions are sufficient justification, then the defense is no longer retributivist, but utilitarian or consequentialist see sections 3 and 4. The term Capital Punishment, after all, refers to a punishment, and it, as with all punishments, is meant to deter the actions of those in receipt of them. Recall that utilitarianism is solely concerned with the balance of happiness over unhappiness produced by an action. Responses to this question about the death penalty often build on more general principles or theories about the purposes of punishment in general, and about general criteria for determining the proper measure or amount of punishment for various crimes. For Locke, murderers have, by their voluntary wrongdoing, forfeited their own right to life and can therefore be treated as a being not possessing any right to life at all and as subject to execution to effect some good for society.
The latter element is even more challenging to measure because most who do not murder do so out of habit, character, religious beliefs, lack of opportunity, etc. Though he never pursued a formal secondary education, he was well respected in the academic community and gained membership at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a position as Lord Rector at the University of St. Having the death penalty in our society is humane; capital punishment gives the closure that families need to move on. Thus it cannot be an argument. In regards to this theory, moral judgment is not clear-cut, but rather is circumstantial in nature.
With few exceptions, the individual upon whom punishment is inflicted must have committed an offense, and the punishment must be attached to that offense. Retributivists are not in complete agreement on how to answer this question. Kant deciphers his ethical questions by examining a person's motivation for performing an act regardless of the consequences. If an offender is confined for a certain period of time, then that offender will be less able to harm others during that period of time. These are nothing but the sum of the least portions of the private liberty of each person; they represent the general will, which is the aggregate of particular wills. He came up with a guide to morals in direct opposition to the ontological theory. Amnesty International, Capital punishment, Crime 910 Words 3 Pages Essay Introduction Arguments with the practice of Capital Punishment Arguments against capital punishment 2 paragraph conclusion 3: References Works cited in the Essay a Controversy is something that will always be present in our lives due to the human nature of conflicting with one another, and without a doubt capital punishment is one excessively controversial topic.
In the judicial system dealing with crime and punishment, the concept of justice lurks in the shadows when it should ultimately be the foundation within the legal system. And in as much as any deterrent effects are linked to certainty of punishment, any degree of arbitrariness in administering capital punishment does affect a central utilitarian consideration in determining whether the institution is morally justified. There is no reason to think that current capital punishment practices are the most severe punishment. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003. In this world, a Kantian would be committed to the position that punishments still ought to be inflicted upon wrongdoers. The topic I shall be discussing is Kant's categorical imperative and the utilitarian's greatest happiness idea. There are on the Continent great and enlightened countries, in which the criminal procedure is not so favorable to innocence, does not afford the same security against erroneous conviction, as it does among us; countries where the Courts of Justice seem to think they fail in their duty unless they find somebody guilty; and in their really laudable desire to hunt guilt from its hiding places, expose themselves to a serious danger of condemning the innocent.
Judges are most anxious to point out, and juries to allow for, the barest possibility of the prisoner's innocence. As for rehabilitation, the remaining utilitarian justification, that does not apply to capital punishment. Predictably, the responses to these criticisms vary depending on the particular theory. Can this right, once forfeited, ever be restored? Furthermore, supporters of rehabilitation programs argue that felons receiving the death penalty can be reformed to become valuable citizens of society. I have heard the argument as well. This theory can be summarized in three claims known as the consequentialist claim, the happiness claim and the objectivity claim. Mill attempts to dismiss the inconsistency between a stated social value, that is to say the sanctity of life, and a societal practice, the execution of a certain class of criminals.
By this I mean death is final, whereas something stolen can be returned or replaced, a lie can be found out and the truth told whereas a person executed cannot be brought back to life. Historical Practices Much philosophic focus on the death penalty is modern and relatively recent. This exceptional study and its methodology have been much criticized Bailey, 141-143. It is the sentiment of honour that induces their perpetration. But this, again, harkens back to my main objection to the current system as well as the system Mr. There are so many different calculations one would have to do to prove that his or her actions were justified that it is hard to take yourself out of the act and be impartial.
The greater the advantage, the greater the punishment should be. The unfair advantage principle also characterizes the wrong committed not in terms of its effects on a victim, but on third parties—society members who exercise self-restraint by obeying those norms the offender violates. Murderers and rapists have to be punished for the crimes they have committed and should pay the price for their wrongdoing. The obvious example of the utilitarian and retributive forms of justice leading to different conclusions is that of capital punishment. Utilitarianism and the Death Penalty Utilitarianism And Death Penalty The debate over capital punishment has been continous for many years now.
What I learned from all this was that probation is no mere slap on the wrist. At each one of these points of decisions, it is argued, there is room for arbitrariness, mistakes, even discrimination. I hold that the person, who has criminally taken another's life, should be responsible, primarily, for making redress of the losses incurred by their victims, that person's family and the community. He wrote many treatises on the role of government and the responsibilities of the individual within society. This would allow for a complete rebuilding and redesign for a justice system that would make that possible. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961. Third, whether any formulas for lethal injections are a humane way or a more humane way of causing death is itself controversial, with disputes about the science or lack thereof behind the drug formulas and protocols used, disagreements about the evidentiary significance of physiological data from autopsies used to assess the humanity of death by lethal injection, etc.