Death Penalty in the U.S

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In this paper I will argue for the moral permissibility of the death penalty and I am fairly confident that when the case for capital punishment is made properly, its appeal to logic and morality is compelling. The practice of the death penalty is no longer as wide-spread as it used to be throughout the world; in fact, though the death penalty was nearly universal in past societies, only 71 countries world-wide still officially permit the death penalty (www.infoplease.com); the U.S. being among them. Since colonial times, executions have taken place in America, making them a part of its history and tradition. Given the pervasiveness of the death penalty in the past, why do so few countries use the death penalty, and why are there American states that no longer sanction its use? Is there a moral wrong involved in the taking of a criminal’s life? Of course the usual arguments will be brought up, but beyond the primary discourse most people do not go deeper than their “gut feeling” or personal convictions. When you hear about how a family was ruthlessly slaughtered by a psychopathic serial killer most minds instantly feel that this man should be punished, but to what extent? Would it be just to put this person to death? First, let us get an understanding of what crime really is, as well as the right to punish. A crime as defined by Immanuel Kant is “a violation of social laws” meaning a violation that would be committed against a society. (www.philosophos.com) In order for a society to be functional it must have laws and regulations regarding these violations and any disobedience with the laws would be subject to punishment. So who can administer these punishments and decide to what degree it will punish? Kant tells us t... ... middle of paper ... ...riving a society of justice, and showing compassion to those who commit one of the greatest evils a man can commit, expresses cruelty to the society, especially toward those loved ones of the victim who yearn for justice. Works Cited Avaliani, Archil. "www.philosophos.com." 28 Jan. 2010. . Dart, Andrew. "Capital Punishment as an Effective Deterrent." www.akdart.com. 28 Nov. 2010. . “The Death Penalty Worlwide.” Infoplease. ©2000-2007 Pearson Education, publishing as Infoplease.com. 28 Nov. 2010 Messerli, Joe. "The Death Penalty: Pros and Cons." www.balancedpolitics.org. 28 Jan. 2010. . Prager, Dennis. Think a Second Time. New York: HarperCollins Publisher, Inc., 1995.
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