class notes part 3 - 3/22/10 Capital Punishment 1. Capital...

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3/22/10 Capital Punishment 1. Capital Punishment: The Questions 1. What crimes deserve the death penalty? 1. With in the context of cruel and unusual punishment 2. Retention vs. Abolitionism 1. Retentionist Arguments 1. Desert 1. Retribution 1. Eye for an eye argument 2. Justice 1. Sometimes called moral argument, we will call argument for proportionality 3. Some crimes that people do deserve the death penalty, the person deserves to die, has it coming to him; nothing to do with the future or the outcome of the execution- nothing to do with making us ‘feel’ better later, only deals with the past and his crime; some people deserve to die 2. Social Utility 1. Prevention 1. Prevents future murders 2. However less than 1% of murderers murder again (compare to child molesters, who are hard to ‘cure’) 3. Very few people that would actually repeat the crime 1. TV makes the impression that murderers keep on murdering 2. News and dramas 4. Limitations to this argument, not as wide of a net; can't ignore or dispose, some people WILL kill again if paroled, 2. Deterrence 1. Others will be less likely to kill someone because they are scared of the death penalty 2. Death penalty in effect will lower the murder rate 1. Works in many instances, traffic laws, etc. 3. Life in prison vs. the death penalty 1. Is one better than the other? 2. Statistically, countries (states) that have the death penalty have a higher murder rate than those that don’t 1. BUT, a Retentionist would say, we don’t kill enough- not executing enough people 2. Bringing up the execution rate to a higher level in the high murder rate states, the statistics would change 3. Bush said he didn’t buy the desert argument, buys the social utility argument 3. Money
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1. Take up space in the prisons, have to feed, cloth, etc. them; jails are over crowded 2. Don’t spend tax payer money on them, just kill them 3. Problems: 1. Doesn’t necessarily make it right that its cheaper 2. False too because cheaper to keep them in jail for life than execute them 1. Prosecution, DA, etc. time and money on them, Jury selection; system of appeals, 2. Just not true, cheaper to keep them in jail 3. Takes away time from other cases 4. High profile case can drain entire budget 2. The abolitionist rebuttal 1. The moral argument 1. Justified killing 1. Self defense 2. Wars 3. Defending family/friends 2. Not all killing is wrong 2. Constitutional issues 1. Due process 1. Death penalty cannot meet due process of law under the constitution 2. White vs. black victims: racism 3. Don’t take into account a lot of things 4. Can we do it fairly? 2. 8 th amendment 1. Cruel and unusual punishment 1. What is cruel and unusual? 2. Determined it is not
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class notes part 3 - 3/22/10 Capital Punishment 1. Capital...

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