The Moral Permissibility Of The Death Penalty

1261 Words 6 Pages
Capital punishment, or the death penalty, has been an ongoing ethical debate that has been traced to the beginning of the American colonies. The death penalty is an issue that has the United States quite divided. While there are many supporters of it, there is also a large amount in opposition. Currently, there are thirty-one states in which the death penalty is legal and nineteen states that have abolished it. Because of its controversial nature, it is important to further analyze the moral permissibility of the death penalty. I believe the death penalty should be legal throughout the nation for those who commit crimes deemed by society and government as deserving the infliction of death.
In this paper, I will defend the legalization of
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In order for one to make a moral decision, the outcome of certain actions must be considered first. Because the emphasis is placed on the consequences of your action, the theory of Utilitarianism is a form of Consequentialism. Therefore, the best type of government is one that has the best consequences. Utilitarianism disapproves of punishment that is administered as a way to make the criminal “pay” for his crime. Instead, the role of punishment is to prevent any future crime by inflicting fear of punishment. Therefore, every law and decision that is made should produce the best results for the greatest number of people. The death penalty is not meant to provide justice by taking “an eye for an eye”. This punishment is meant to deter many criminals from committing murder. The severity of a punishment is intended to cause fear and, therefore, prevent …show more content…
Many may object based on the contention that this could result in innocent people executed. Since the reinstatement of the modern death penalty, 87 people have been freed from death row because they were later proven innocent. This is a demonstrated error rate of 1 innocent person for every 7 persons executed. Therefore, when the consequences are life and death, the thought that innocent people may be executed must be taken seriously. It is important to realize that some small margin for error does exist in the law system when it comes to capital punishment and the condemnation of those presumed to be guilty of crime. Therefore, in the future, if the use of the death penalty becomes legalized across the nation, one must take into consideration that this would result in the execution of more innocent

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