UNTIL THE DEATH PENALTY DO US PART---041811

UNTIL THE DEATH PENALTY DO US PART---041811 - R UNN ING...

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RUNNING HEAD: UNTIL THE DEATH PENALTY DO US PART 1 1 UNTIL THE DEATH PENALTY DO US PART Deconda Johnson-Smith PHI 200 Instructor Troy Epps April 18, 2011
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UNTIL THE DEATH PENALTY DO US PART Capital punishment is described as, “the lawful infliction of death as a punishment” more commonly known as the death penalty. The death penalty is the harshest punishment present in the American criminal justice system. There is a long list of arguments on both sides of the debate over the death penalty in the United States. The basic issue with the death penalty is rather or not implementing it is the correct retribution (revenge) for the crime (murder) committed and rather or not it is morally correct. Those that support the death penalty as I do, do so based on the Utilitarianism theory. The Utilitarianism theory argues that a just society requires the death penalty for the taking of a life, and that by implementing the death penalty it keeps our justice system balanced and is a deterrent for possible future murders. Those against the death penalty argue that it is not a just response for the taking of a life and that there are other punishments that can be implemented for those that commit such heinous crimes, and furthermore it is not a proven deterrent. While both sides present great arguments in relation to the death penalty what one thinks is just verses what another thinks is just is simply a matter of personal beliefs, and our justice system has allowed the death penalty to be used under certain conditions in a majority if the United States. In order to understand the argument on capital punishment one must understand the purpose of our criminal justice system and the demands it puts on our society especially when it regards capital punishment. The utilitarianism theory is best explained by the notion associated with philosophers Jeremy Bentham (1748–1822) and John Stuart Mill (1806–1873) that, “ If given a choice
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UNTIL THE DEATH PENALTY DO US PART 3 between two acts, and one of them creates greater happiness for the greatest number of people, then that is the act that should be chosen” (Mosser, 2010, Sec. 2.1). The utilitarianism theory focuses on the consequences that actions or policies have on the well-being "utility" of all persons directly or indirectly affected by the action or policy. Utility is described as, “the satisfaction one gets from something. More so utilitarianism is also referred to by the consequentialist theory being that it, “considers the consequences of and act in figuring out the moral thing to do. If the consequences of ones act produces the greatest good—or the highest utility—for the greatest number of people, that is the act one should carry out” (Mosser, 2010, Sec. 2.1). In summary, the utilitarianism theory proposes that our duty is to do whatever will increase the amount of happiness in the world. Utilitarian’s view punishment as treating people badly by taking away their freedom by
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UNTIL THE DEATH PENALTY DO US PART---041811 - R UNN ING...

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