Capital Punishment


The use of has been a permanent fixture in society since the earliest civilizations and continues to be used as a form of punishment in countries today. It has been used for various crimes ranging from the desertion of soldiers during wartime to the more heinous crimes of serial killers. However, the mere fact that this brutal form of punishment and revenge has been the policy of many nations in the past does not subsequently warrant its implementation in today's society. The death penalty is morally and socially unethical, should be construed as cruel and unusual punishment since it is both discriminatory and arbitrary, has no proof of acting as a deterrent, and risks the ...

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is lessened under certain circumstances such as the life of a murderer, what is stopping others from creating their own circumstances for the value of one's life such as race, class, religion, and economics. Immanual Kant, a great philosopher of ethics, came up with the Categorical Imperative, which is a universal command or rule that states that society and individuals "must act in such a way that you can will that your actions become a universal law for all to follow" (Palmer 265). There must be some set of moral and ethical standards that even the government can not supersede, otherwise how can the state expect its citizens not to follow its own example.
Those who support the death penalty believe, or claim to believe, that capital punishment is morally and ethically acceptable. The bulk of their evidence comes from the Old Testament which actually recommends the use of for a number of crimes. Others also quote the Sixth Commandment which, in the original Hebrew reads, ...

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admired men, both supported slavery as well. Surely, the advice of someone who clearly demonstrated a total disregard for the value of human life cannot be considered in such an argument as capital punishment. In regard to the philosophers, Immanuel Kant, a great ethical philosopher stated that the motives behind actions determine whether something is moral or immoral (Palmer 271). The motives behind the death penalty, which revolve around revenge and the "frustration and rage of people who see that the government is not coping with violent crime," are not of good will, thereby making immoral according to ethical philosophy (Bruck 329).
The question of whether executions are a ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 2/4/2004 06:33:39 PM
Category: Legal Issues
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2116
Pages: 8

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