Capital Punishment Argument

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Capital Punishment Argument

In this philosophical study of applied ethics the concept of

punishment will be argued using philosophers such as Mill, Bentham and

Kant. And the case of John Martin Scripps ‘The tourist from hell’ will

be used. The concept of capital punishment as a form of punishment

brings about questions such as ‘is there any crime so bad that it

permits the state to kill? Does anyone deserve to die for his or her

crime? Is the execution a sign that society has failed its

responsibilities to all its citizens?

There are three aims to punishment, Retribution, Reformation, and

Deterrence. Modern thinking on punishment tends towards a combined

view where none of the aims itself is sufficient to provide a

comprehensive account. Retribution and Deterrence will be highlighted

in detail.

Retribution most clearly expresses what people instinctively feel is

the basis of the punishment. The retributive arguments have a long and

ancient history particularly in the west because of the support of

Biblical and Church traditions. In the past, law codes of the Old

Testament, Babylonian Hammurabi (1728-1686 BCE) and other ancient

periods in times use a retributive argument. A lex talionis (the law

of the tooth) is adopted in the Old Testament: "An eye for an eye, and

a tooth for a tooth." In other words, a grievance caused requires a

satisfaction on the part of the victim to which he/she or society is

entitled. Entitlement is for no other reason than those criminals are

owed their just deserts. Retribution classically sees that punishment

is justified because the criminal deserves it and that all other

considerations are con...

... middle of paper ... deterrent effect on others. However the utility

punishment does not give the means to estimate the amount of

punishment, other then the minimum necessary to deter others.

I think that the Retributive way is effective because it looks after

the people who have had to go through a grievance because of the crime

and the retributive way allows for a satisfaction to the victims.

However, this way can be seen as now backwards because killing another

human is wrong and this attitude is seen more in fashion. It can be

seen that society is seen to blame for murders because the state is to

look after its members. I think that the most effective way is

reformative because it looks at how the offender can go back into the

society as a useful member but however a punishment should be made and

served to have a deterrent effect.
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