PHI103 Informal Logic
Instructor: Philip Bence
June 11, 2013
Capital Punishment: Moral, Effective, or Barbaric?
Public support for capital punishment has eroded across the nation, largely because Americans are ambivalent. Many think that capital punishment is acceptable, but they are apprehensive about innocent people being executed. As the political debate of the past two decades centered on wrongful convictions and death row exonerations, to a greater extent, more Americans judged capital punishment as blatantly immoral and unfair. In 2012, one hundred seventy-two people were executed regionally in the U.S. Proponents maintain that capital punishment is an effective deterrent to criminals who contemplate the commission of a capital offense. On the contrary, criminals are not afraid of capital punishment. The less that capital punishment can lawfully be used, the more it will cease to deter capital crimes at all.
Capital Punishment Has Split the Country in Two
One of the more controversial issues in America today is the capital punishment. According to (Jeffrey M. Jones, 2012) of the Gallup News, “Some Americans tend to believe the capital punishment is applied fairly in this country, though a substantial number believes it is not. Nearly half of Americans say the capital punishment is not imposed often enough.” American support for the capital punishment plateaued to the low 60s in recent years, after several years in which support was losing ground. Sixty-three percent now favor the capital punishment as the punishment for murder, comparable to 61 percent in 2011, and 64 percent in 2010. Support for capital punishment is higher this year. (Jones, 2012).
Over half of the Country Believes Capital Punishment Is Unfairly Applied
The Gallop poll reflects that a little over half of Americans believe the capital punishment is applied fairly in this country, while
References: Banner, S. (2002). The Death Penalty: An American History. American Council of Learned Societies. New York: Harvard University Press. (eBook). Retrieved from: http://www.worldcat.org/title/death-penalty-an-american-history/oclc/244341493?referer=di&ht=edition David, S. (2006). Elements of Justice. New York: Columbian University Press. Retrieved from: http://www.davidschmidtz.com/david-schmidtz/books/elements Delfino, M. & Day, Mary E. (2007). Death Penalty USA 2005 – 2006. Tampa, Florida: Better MoBetter Publishing. Retrieved from: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=3086135123&searchurl =an%3Ddelfino%2Bmichelangelo%2Bday%2Bmary%2Be%26bsi%3D0%26ds%3D30 Jones, J. M. (2012) Slim Majority of Americans Say Capital punishment Applied Fairly. Support for the capital punishment higher than in recent years. Gallup News Service. Copyright © 2013 Gallup, Inc. Retrieved from: http://www.gallup.com/poll/6031/slim-majority-americans-say-death-penalty-applied-fairly.aspx Hadfield, G. K., Weingast, B. R. (March 2013). Law without the State Legal Attributes and the Coordination of Decentralized Collective Punishment Journal of Law and Courts, (Vol. 1) pp. 3-34. The University of Chicago Press. Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/668604 Edward N. Zalta (ed.) (Summer, 2012). Kant 's Social and Political Philosophy. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2012/entries/kant-social-political