Is Capital Punishment For A Crime Moral? Essay

1098 Words Nov 17th, 2016 5 Pages
Capital punishment, otherwise called the death penalty, is when the state puts an individual to death as a way to punish them for a crime. At this time, the United States is the only Western democracy that has not abolished the use of capital punishment. Is using capital punishment for a crime moral? In this paper, I intend to examine this issue by employing utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, and care ethics. Drawing on these points of view, I will ultimately make a claim as to whether or not the use of capital punishment is moral. Utilitarian theory maintains that moral actions are ones that lead to a net increase in happiness for the community. Since punishment involves pain, utilitarians will generally only support punishment if it can lead to an overall increase in happiness. Jeremy Bentham took this further, writing, “All punishment is evil.” (228). He believed that purposefully inflicting suffering on someone that has committed a crime would only add more suffering to the world.
As a result, punishment can only be justified if it is absolutely the only way to remove a greater evil from the community.
Whether or not capital punishment is the best way to accomplish this is questionable, however. Execution removes the possibility of rehabilitation in criminals, though rehabilitation has been seen in the past. Karla Faye Tucker, for example, was on death row for murdering two people, but while in prison she began to regret what she had done and turned to Christianity. She…

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