Contemporary Moral Problems Class Notes Part II

Contemporary Moral Problems Class Notes Part II - Capital...

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Unformatted text preview: Capital Punishment 27/09/2007 09:30:00 ← Final Exam ← Wed Dec 12 11:30-2:30 ← ← Capital Punishment (Van Den Haag) • In favor of Capital Punishment • Often defended on basis of o 1. Justice/retribution o 2. Social Utility/Deterrence ← His responses to - common arguments for getting rid of the death penalty (I & II): ← I. Distribution- • CP is unevenly distributed (races) o Response: the morality of capital punishment and the morality of how it is distributed are two completely different issues: admits it. ← II. Miscarriages of Justice • Stat: American Civil Liberties Union in the past 30 yrs 124 people on death row have had there sentences reversed based on DNA evidence • There are cases of innocent people getting the death penalty o Response: Many human activities involve the death of innocent people. But we continue with them as long as the advantages out weigh the disadvantages Ex. Construction ← III. Deterrence • Admits there is no statistical evidence that would prove that capital punishment deters murder (can’t measure success of deterrence) o Response: but there is also no statistical evidence that would prove that capital punishment does not deter murder: no stats either way • Just because a state has the death penalty and has a higher murder rate that does not mean that the two number correlate • Thought Experiment o The finality of death is a deterrent Weekdays: death penalty Weekend: Life in prison More people would murder on the weekends ← IV. 3 More Arguments For Abolition • 1. $ o “it’ too expensive to keep them alive” False due to the incredibly long chain of appeals that the suspect can make therefore it is far more expensive to have a death penalty case o Response: this is not telling unless we accept/assume that very few people who are on death row are actually following the appeals that they have access to o This is not where the actual decision of CP will take place • 2. CP Endorses Unlawful killing o if our state kills that tells us its okay to kill o Response: death by a lawful reason, where as murder is not okay. Killing for justice o Capital punishment doesn’t even endorse unlawful killing Ex. Imprisonment endorses unlawful kidnapping: ridiculous Ex. Being fined for some crime endorses robbing people: ridiculous • 3. CP Violates Human Rights o goes against human dignity to kill someone even if they have killed someone else; people still have the right to life even if you kill someone, even if you deserve o Response: someone who is in prison for life does not have autonomy...
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Contemporary Moral Problems Class Notes Part II - Capital...

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