Essay on Arguing Against Capital Punishment

1595 Words Oct 9th, 2013 7 Pages
In the debate over capital punishment, the opponents argue that capital punishment should not be practiced because it has a civilizing effect and practicing capital punishment has do deterrent effect. On the other side of the debate, the supporters argue that capital punishment should not be abolished because it is just retribution and has a deterrent effect. In this paper, I will argue that capital punishment should not be practiced. In the article titled, “The Folly of Capital Punishment,” Jeffrey Reiman concludes that capital punishment is less just. Reiman has four arguments against capital punishment. Reiman states that an argument for capital punishment being a deterrent would have to be based on speculation, as there is no solid …show more content…
When a criminal is punished, it is not in an effort to diffuse their gain, nor is it an effort to diffuse the loss of the victim. The reason the criminal is punished is to justify the law and a social code they broke. Van Den Haag addresses the argument that capital punishment is distributed wrongly. If capital punishment is just, it will not become more or less just based on distribution. Even if the misdistribution were corrected, it would only make capital punishment more equal, not more just. Van Den Haag also acknowledges the argument about misdistribution of capital punishment to the innocent. He agrees that it is unjust to punish an innocent person; howverver, no more than with other things that have potential for great profit have on the occasional accident. We still do those things as long as the benefit is higher than the cost of the accident, as is the case with Van Den Haag also addresses the argument that it is more costly to execute a criminal. He counters this by first saying that cost is irrelevant to whether or not capital punishment is just. He then says that proponents of this argument often assume that the criminals don’t incur cost while in life imprisonment.Van Den Haag counters the argument that the criminal suffers more than the victim by first saying that there is no way to know if the criminal suffers more than the victim. He then says that, while the victim did not deserve to die, the criminal has earned the punishment. In response

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