Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formattingExcerpt from Term Paper:
Bringing Capital Punishment Down to Practicalities
While there are probably as many arguments for and against capital punishment as there are people on earth, historically there are two main philosophical viewpoints on which most arguments are based. These are the utilitarian viewpoint and the retributive viewpoint. Either one can be used to argue for or against capital punishment.
For example, the utilitarian argument holds that, "capital punishment is justified if it (1) prevents the criminal from repeating his crime; or (2) deters crime by discouraging would-be offenders," writes James Feiser in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Feiser also writes that, "The retributive notion of punishment in general is that a) as a foundational matter of justice, criminals deserve punishment, and (b) punishment should be equal to the harm done." He subdivides this philosophical basis for capital punishment into lex talionis retribution, which he describes as "an eye for an eye," and lex salica, which involves compensation for the harm, inflicted. Lex talionis, he advises, was first proposed in the 18th Century BCE in the Code of Hammurabi.
Feiser uses both those philosophical precepts to argue against capital punishment.
Feiser cites Italian political theorist Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794) to counter the apparent pro-capital punishment message of the utilitarian position. Beccaria, Feiser says, proposed that long-term imprisonment was a more powerful deterrent since "execution is transient." It may be transient to society as a whole; no matter how long trials and appeals take, it is transient in that it is over in a minute. People being as they are, it is also forgotten in a relative minute.
But execution is permanent for the person executed. and, in fact, it is permanent even for society; it takes that criminal permanently off the street. In this respect, long-term imprisonment is infinitely more transient, and therefore less useful to society.
Another weakness in the utilitarian philosophy as a reason in favor of capital punishment, Feiser writes, is in the fact-gathering process to determine who has committed a murder. "Since the utilitarian is making a factual claim about the beneficial social consequences of capital punishment, then his claim should be backed by empirical evidence." Feiser claims that the processes used to 'prove' the criminal act today are anecdotal, and therefore suspect because of human vagaries in reporting what they see, hear, smell and so on. He admits he might be more in favor of using this philosophy as a basis for capital punishment if there were scientific studies of its deterrent effect to back up its use. But those, he says, have not been completed to anyone's satisfaction.
Feiser attempts to debunk the retributive basis of capital punishment by a practical argument concerning the lex talionis idea. He writes that, "as a strict formula of retribution, lex talionis punishment may even be inadequate. For example, if a terrorist or mass murderer kills ten people, then taking his single life is technically not punishment in kind."
True. But that would be the alternative? Letting him go free because his pitiful life was not the equal of the lives of those he murdered? If one were to extend Feiser's reasoning, then one would have to ask: Should none of the remaining 9/11 conspirators be punished by execution because their few lives could not possibly equal the thousands lost that day? Is it adequate to find and execute Osama bin Laden (or whoever the evidence says was the mastermind), or should we just let the planner of that mass murder go free because it is ludicrous, on a tit for tat basis, to execute one in payment for the lives of so many?
In fact, these two powerful philosophical/legal concepts can both easily be employed to support capital punishment. Even if, for example, one begins to accept that the utilitarian basis for capital punishment may have weaknesses, it also has strengths. Writing for Pro-DeathPenalty.com, political scientist John McAdams points out: "If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call." And it is also wildly utilitarian in…[continue]
"Bringing Capital Punishment Down To Practicalities While" (2003, May 10) Retrieved December 10, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/bringing-capital-punishment-down-to-practicalities-148179
"Bringing Capital Punishment Down To Practicalities While" 10 May 2003. Web.10 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/bringing-capital-punishment-down-to-practicalities-148179>
"Bringing Capital Punishment Down To Practicalities While", 10 May 2003, Accessed.10 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/bringing-capital-punishment-down-to-practicalities-148179
In March of 2005, she was finally removed from life support and died thirteen days later. The case had 14 appeals, numerous motions, petitions and hearings in Florida courts, five suits in the Federal District Court; Florida legislation struck down by the Supreme Court of Florida; a subpoena by a congressional committee in an attempt to qualify Terri for witness protection; federal legislation and four denials of certiorari from
Nearing the end of the 1960s, the analytic or language philosophy became the central focus point which led to the isolation of the classroom setting and the problems that came with it (Greene, 2000). Most of the educational philosophers of the time were inclined towards restricting themselves to the official aspects and problems like the sovereignty of the system without any influence from the society and the surrounding environment and
Margaret Thatcher has the distinction of being the longest serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in over 150 years. While she is credited with being instrumental in reinstating Britain as major economic power in the world, there are strong and ambivalent options about her tenure as Prime Minister. While many laud her for some of the economic policies that she implemented, others criticize her for these same policies. "Her
Environmental Issues Faced in 21st Century Aviation Reducing Communication and Coordination Tools and Metrics Technology, Operations and Policy Demand Aviation and the Environment Effects on the health Local Air Quality Climate Change Total Climate impacts from aircraft Interdependencies Mobility, Economy and National Security Interactions between Government, Industry and Groups Aviation Greenhouse Gas Emissions Economic Impact SPCC Regulations Local Airport Issues De-icing Fluids A Framework for National Goals Realities and Myths Metrics Recommended Actions Environmental Issues Faced in 21st Century Aviation Environmental awareness in regards to 21st century aviation among the public and politicians has
Like Plato, More retains the belief in One God in his concept of the perfect society by injecting the foundation of Neoplatonism and blending it with a rather festive or carnival-like quality (Marius 1995 as qtd in SparkNotes 2010). Utopians enjoy the good life at the expense of firmly rooted institutions and established order in society. People turn their freedom around and upside down. Ranks, norms, prohibitions, private property and
Fault: An Alternative to the Current Tort-Based System in England and Wales The United Kingdom statistics regarding claims THE NATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM OBSTACLES TO DUE PROCESS THE CASE FOR REFORM THE REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT THE RISING COST OF LITIGATION LORD WOOLF'S REFORMS MORE COST CONTROLS THE UNITED STATES PAUL'S PULLOUT THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY TORT REFORM IN AMERICA FLEEING PHYSICIANS STATISTICS FOR ERROR, INJURY AND DEATH THE CALL FOR REFORM IN 2003: A FAMILIAR REFRAIN THE UNITED STATES SITUATION, IN SUMMARY NEW ZEALAND CASE STUDIES THE SWEDISH SCHEME COMPARISON: WHICH SYSTEM
In the case of an extreme situation, such as the death or near death of another, intentionality is a clear indicator of culpability and should be constitutionally supported. The constitution is a litmus of the culture and open violation of the intentions of the constitution, i.e. To protect the rights of all should be an allowable designation for increased sanctions against those who perpetrate such crime. Pros and Cons of