Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished

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Should the Death Penalty be abolished?
Thomas Adam
PHI 103
Kurt Mosser
February 13, 2011


Capital punishment is the execution, as a punishment for a person convicted of committing a heinous crime against humanity. Crimes that are known as capital crimes or capital offences enforce capital punishment; crimes against humanity, drug trafficking resulting in loss of life, terrorism, murder, kidnapping resulting loss of life, etc. are considered capital offences. In this argumentative paper, I will argue, why the death penalty should never be abolished. I will also argue why the death penalty is morally right. Life in prison without parole should never be an option when heinous crimes are committed. This topic has been a concoverisal issue for many years. Both sides of this topic have many different opinions. Many people believe that the practice in question is always wrong, against those who believe that the practice is sometimes justified or even mandatory.

Pro- Death Penalty
Retributivism requires the practice of capital punishment. Retibutivism is a theory of punishment. Retributivists are justified in punishing persons when and only when they deserve to be punished. When a person is morally blameworthy they must suffer the sanction; punishment. The correct doctrinal triggers for liability and questions about how much offenders should be punished for certain crimes when done with levels of culpability. The prevention of vigilante justice is presented as the real good retributivism. The state and government must punish those who deserve it. This will satisfy the people needs for feeling that they have not been deceived, thus restraining themselves from criminal action. I believe, retribution id the only solution for taken another life. “An eye of an eye”. Kant’s theory pints out: “The evil that a wrongdoer inflicts is the measure of how severely he or she should be punished”. Retributivist theory holds not only that criminal guilt is required for punishment, but that the appropriate type and amount of punishment is also determined by the crime itself. Kant recognizes that “like for like” is not always possible to the letter, but believes that justice requires that it be used as the principle for specific judgments of punishment. Therefore, the retributivist theory of punishment leads to Kant’s insistence on capital punishment. He argues, “That the only punishment possibly equivalent to death, the amount of inflicted harm, is death. Death is qualitatively different from any kind of life, so no substitute could be found that would equal death”. The only thing that is proportional to the crime of killing another person is the execution of the convicted murderer. Many people see retribution as revenge. In my opinion that is not the case. Even a person guilty of murder is to be treated with a certain sort of dignity. Morality requires us to rise above mere instincts. The instinct for revenge is a natural one. Morality requires that we respect the humanity of the person we are punishing. Though morality states we must not do anything against a person’s will. In the case of a murderer, we don’t respect his or her wishes, and we don’t respect their freedom. Because we must take seriously that a wrongdoer is responsible for what they have done. After all, a murderer robs their victim entirety of his or her humanity. Another argument that I will argue is that the death penalty will have the deferent affect to prevent others from committing murders. Death differs significantly from any other penalty. Life in prison is still life, however unpleasant, the death penalty does not just threaten to make life unpleasant- it threatens to take life altogether. When a choice is given to a convicted killer; life in prison or execution, 99% of all prisoners prefer life in prison. From this question alone, we can draw a conclusion in favor of the death penalty. The fact is that a convicted killer would fear death...
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