Death Penalty Permissible Essay

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The death penalty is a topic which has many different views on whether it is permissible or non permissible. It can be permissible or non permissible in practice and/or also in principle. In this paper I am going to defend the thought that the death penalty is permissible in principle, but non permissible in practice. When looking at the death penalty in the aspect of whether it is permissible in principle I believe that it is permissible. There are multiple justifications for the death penalty that I think make it principally permissible, some of these justifications include: retribution, and deterrence. Retribution goes along with the death penalty for the idea that if a person kills another person, for example, giving them the death …show more content…
For example one argument that would go against the idea is presented from the view of a Kantian. This argument says you cannot treat a person as a mere means. This is saying that even though someone may of committed a crime worthy of the death penalty, it is not permissible for the person to receive it because that would be treating them as a mere means. In addition to the death penalty being used for retribution another way it can be used is for deterrence. It is thought that the death penalty is a good way to deter others from committing similar crimes because if they see that a person is sentenced to death they will not want the same out come, resulting in the person not committing the crime. This idea is not proven but is a concept that many people stand behind, for example Ernest van den Haag believes that the death penalty is still justified in use even if the evidence is inconclusive because it is the only possible deterrent. Van den Haag has three arguments that he uses to back his views on the death penalty being used as a deterrent. His three arguments are: The common sense argument, the outcome argument, and the death penalty as only possible …show more content…
If the death penalty deters murder and we did not use it, murders of innocent people will occur which could have been prevented. If the death penalty does not deter murder and we use it, executions of murderers will occur with out deterring. Preventable executions are preferable to preventable murders of innocent people. Of the two morally undesirable outcomes, we must pick one with the preferable results. Therefore, we should use the death penalty”. This argument in my opinion tries to combat the issues brought up with the argument of what if someone is wrongly convicted, but does not necessarily solve the issue, because the deterrence factor like stated before is not proven, so in this situation an innocent life is still being taken. This goes along with my belief that the death penalty is permissible in principle, but not in

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