Dramatic changes in the letter and the practice of criminal law inevitably indicate that cultural work is being done, that a paradigm shift is occurring in the understanding of crime, criminals, and police power. The main problem is that the debates about capital punishment and its effectiveness are based on ethical principles rather than political or moral rules. Many critics state that capital punishment should be analyzed and discussed in accordance with moral and political principles rather than a 'common sense', values and traditions.
Traditionally, the public discussion of crime and punishment encompasses more than the penal code and debates about courts, judges, and juries. The modern criminal justice system emerged at the same time as the fields of psychiatry, criminology, sociology, anthropology, and psychology. These disciplines purported to apply scientific methods of inquiry to behavior, mental illness, and the social and psychological dimensions of crime. In general, moral arguments can be made both for and against capital punishment (Logan, 1999). Long a key element of the debate, moral arguments also have tended to remain fairly static over the years, and often have been used in conjunction with religious arguments. Two moral arguments have remained particularly important throughout the death penalty debate: retribution and the sanctity of life. ...Show more