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Philosophical Justification for or Against the Imposition of the Death Penalty

According to proponents of the deontological retribution school of thought that derives its origins from Immanuel Kant who strongly believed that for justice and equality to reign supreme, there must always be punishment for any action that violates the moral rights that we have set for ourselves. In other words, that the punishment must inflict the same amount of pain to the perpetrator as the crime. Similarly, the utilitarian deterrence school of thought seems to support the idea that imposition of such a severe punishment would act as a deterrent to others from committing a similar crime.

However, I am of the view that the deontological retribution theory is flawed owing to the impracticability application of the same theory to other crimes. For instance, strict adherence to the ‘eye for an eye’ theory would mean that a person found guilty of the offence of rape should also be punished by being subjected to the same form of rape they inflicted. Further, despite the fact that there have been previous incidents where convicts have been executed, we have not seen any reduction in cases of murders directly attributable to the severity of punishment imposed on perpetrators.

According to Stephen Nathanson in his article “Should We Execute Those Who Deserve to Die,” a case should be made for each of these questions. I would maintain that there is possibility of errors in the justice and criminal system and thus to impose capital punishment in place of imprisonment for life without parole would to subject an irreversible and severe punishment. Further, it is not for the state to take away the life of perpetrators of such crimes (Nathanson, 1987).Philosophical Justification for or Against the Imposition of the Death Penalty

 

 

 

 

References

Nathanson, S. (1987). Should We Execute Those Who Deserve to Die?” An Eye for and Eye: The Morality of Punishing Death. Rowman & Littlefield.