Is Capital Punishment Ethical?

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Capital punishment is a difficult subject for a lot of people because many question whether or not it is ethical to kill a convicted criminal. In order to critically analyze whether or not it is ethical, I will look at the issue using a utilitarianism approach because in order to get a good grasp of this topic we need to look at how the decision will impact us in the future. The utilitarianism approach will help us to examine this issue and see what some of the consequences are with this topic of capital punishment. For years, capital punishment has been used against criminals and continues to be used today, but lately this type of punishment has come into question because of the ethical question.

On the one hand, people who oppose the death penalty make a very strong point, in that, there have been several cases that the so-called criminal was actually a case of mistaken identity and wrongful conviction. They also believe that the threat of the death penalty ultimately is not a deterrent for criminal behavior. People will commit crimes regardless of the death penalty. Often, criminal behavior is committed with the sense that they will not get caught. So, in essence, they have no reason to be afraid of the death penalty.

On the other side of the debate, there are those that believe that the death penalty is a deterrent. For most criminals, they are aware of the fact that if they get caught, they will be sent to prison. However, other than being sent to prison, there are not really any other repercussions for committing a crime. They argue that if a person were to be presented with the possibility of the death penalty, they would more than likely think twice about their actions and realize that there are more risks than just im...

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...the pleasure with minimal amount of pain would be to continue to use capital punishment. With the therapeutic aspect of closure for victims, it provides the necessary outcome for the victims to be able to move on from the situation.


For the victim, or the victim’s family, they would be able to come to a place of closure knowing that the trauma they had just gone through will no longer be a problem. However, the family members would have to deal with the consequences of pursuing the death penalty. They would also still have to grieve, and deal with the trauma they went through, but it would be lot harder to move on knowing the convicted criminal is still alive. The family members of the convicted criminal to be executed will be upset about the outcome, but they would more then likely be upset about their loved one being involved in the first place.

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