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Death Penalty - Essay Example

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Death Penalty

Certain cultures and societies stand against it and others support it. In this paper we will be discussing that capital punishment is an ethical and moral way of punishing individuals who indulge in wrong doings. To support this view, the argument will be backed with the ethical theory of Utilitarianism and Kant’s Categorical Imperative. Discussion According to the Utilitarian perspective, actions should be considered as right or wrong on the basis of utility or benefits and costs those actions have to offer to the society (MacKinnon, 2009, p.38) . The view even suggests that those actions should be selected which have higher utility than cost for the society, as compared to any other actions that can be conducted. Death penalty, offers more benefits than costs to the society, therefore, it is considered as a morally and ethically correct action. The various benefits of death penalty include; death penalty is considered as a very harsh punishment, people fear death. This fear of death may stimulate other criminals from committing crimes in the future. Therefore, death sentence inflicts fear of death in criminals, and due to this fear, criminals might avoid committing future crimes. Another benefit of death penalty is that those criminals who are currently conducting crimes and will possibly commit future crimes will be removed from the society and the number of criminals currently existing in the system will decrease. Another advantage of the death sentence is the satisfaction that the society as well as the victim’s family receives from knowing that justice has been served, and the criminal has faced equal consequences and pain that the victim faced. Those who are not in the favor of death penalty argue that due to death penalty, those individuals have to experience death that might have not actually committed the crime and have been held responsible. Some contradictors of death penalty even state that there is no pure research stating that death penalty has really stopped criminals from committing crime and has stopped potential criminals from conducting future crimes. Contradictors argue that the level of suffering in case of death penalty is less than the suffering experienced in life imprisonment, thus life imprisonment should be considered as a better option than death penalty. Those who are not in the favor of death penalty even state that the monetary cost bared by the government for conducting a case of death penalty is higher than the cost of any other form of trial, thus the society ends up paying in the form of higher taxes. According to retributive justice, those individuals who have committed wrong, should pay the cost of their actions and should be held responsible (Hinman, 2009, p.245). Kant supports this view; Kant believes that equality and justice can only be served if a wrong doer is treated in accordance to his wrong doings. Kant supports the idea that an individual should be treated the same way he has treated others. This does not mean that a murderer should be murdered in the same way he has committed the murder. However, the murder should experience equal pain as the pain felt by the victim who was murdered. Secondly, Kant states that an individual should treat others in a particular way, if he/she is ready to accept the same treatment (Pojman, 2009, p.129). Therefore, if a ...Show more


Death Penalty [Name of the Writer] [Name of the Institution] Death Penalty Introduction Death penalty even referred to as capital punishment or death sentence is used to execute a criminal/convict for his wrong doings (Johnson, 2012, p.2012). Over the years, lawmakers of different regions have exercised several different methods of execution; different methods include hanging, gas chambers, lethal injection, etc…
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