PHI 306 EC 15

PHI 306 EC 15 - some crime as offensive and to be avoided...

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Lauren Napolitano Extra Credit Ch 15 R4Dissenting Opinion in “Gregg v. Georgia” 1.) What is Marshall’s main argument against what he takes to be the principal nonretributivist (or utilitarian) justification for the death penalty? The principal nonretributivist justification for the death penalty is the idea that the death penalty is valuable because it has beneficial results. He quotes Stewart, Powell, and Stevens who say that “The instinct for retribution is part of the nature of man…[if] organized society is unwilling or unable to impose upon criminal offenders the punishment they ‘deserve,’ then there are sown the seeds of anarchy.” He says that this idea is not retributive in the purest sense. The death penalty, Marshall argues, is not necessary to prevent the American people from taking the law into their own hands. He says that the expression of moral outrage through the death penalty is supposed to mark
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Unformatted text preview: some crime as offensive and to be avoided. However, Marshall says that it is “inconceivable that any individual…would fail to realize that murder is ‘wrong’ if the 4 4rr4 Marshall argues that retribution cannot provide a moral justification for capital punishment. He talks about the purely retributive justification for the death penalty, which is that the death penalty is appropriate because the taking of the murderer’s life is itself morally good. He provides a quote from his opponents stating that “the Eighth Amendment demands more than that a challenged punishment be acceptable to contemporary society.” Marshall adds that according to this, taking a life because someone deserves it must be wrong because it denies the person’s dignity and value....
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PHI 306 EC 15 - some crime as offensive and to be avoided...

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