Main Features Of The Argument On Supporting The Death Penalty Developed By Ernest Van Den Haag

1032 Words Dec 7th, 2015 5 Pages
The key features of the argument on supporting the death penalty developed by Ernest Van Den Haag first focuses on matters of mal-distribution and determining if an individual really deserves it, second the miscarriages of justice, third if the death penalty is a better deterrence than other punishments, fourth the incidental issues that the death penalty promotes, and fifth justice, excess, and degradation.

The first argument that Ernest Van Den Haag argues is on the matter of mal-distribution, and determining whether an individual really deserves capital punishment. He expresses his view that mal-distribution being compared between those individuals who are guilty or innocent is undeserved. The acts of capital punishment upon an individual who knowingly commits a crime and is considered guilty in that sense deserves the punishment. However, on the other hand he considers that when mal-distribution is then put upon an innocent life that did not commit the crime but is considered guilty is seen as than unjust. For example in the text he states:

Mal-distribution between the guilty and the innocent is, by definition, unjust. But the injustice does not lie in the nature of the punishment. Because of the finality of the death penalty, the most grievous, mal-distribution occurs when it is imposed upon the innocent (Haag, 192);
Haag concludes that the act of capital punishment cannot be seen as unjust for the simple fact that if someone commits a crime he or she would then…

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