Bedau's View Of The Death Penalty

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Dr. Glen H. Stassen and Dr. Michael Westmoreland-White are both professors of the Christian ethics, which makes them a credible source. Their passage states that the death penalty was not taught in any of the biblical readings. Israel’s law codes required that two witnesses must be present and must have agreed statements. They argue that this is better than today’s judicial system where a person can be convicted under substantial evidence. This was seen as better to them because it caused there to be less of a case where there is a less of a case of a wrongful execution. The death penalty was very uncommon in these times due to such a law code that required two people to have the exact same statements for someone to be executed. Another reason …show more content…
He is also a widely recognized opponent of the death penalty. Bedau argues that the act of capital punishment goes against the principle of respect for human life. He recognizes that when a person murders another person, they have taken away that person’s right and ability to life. Regardless if the person has committed murder, wouldn’t they still have their right to life? If that murderer were then put to death for their crime, it would be a violation of his or her rights. Therefore, wouldn’t capital punishment be immoral? Bedau responds to John Locke’s theory concerning this matter. Locke’s theory is that when a person takes away another person’s life, they have then forfeited their own right to live. Bedau reacts by addressing that there are other options for punishment other than the death penalty, and that nowhere states that a murderer must be put to death. There is a difference between someone forfeiting their right to life and forfeiting their actual life. Bedau also believes that Locke’s theory is dangerously susceptible to that of utilitarian reasoning. Although he does not fully explain his point here, it seems to be that he is afraid that a person’s right to life could be given up in concern with the overall good of

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