The Retribution Theory Of The Death Penalty

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Issues concerning the death penalty have been wrestled with in court as early as 1967. The death penalty, or capital punishment, is the ending of the lives of those thought to be guilty of a crime, mostly murder. The methods used include: lethal injections, electrocution, lethal gas, firing squad, and hanging. Only thirty-two states practice the death penalty. Ernest van den Haag, author of “The Ultimate Punishment: A Defense,” argues for the use of the death penalty. On the other hand, Jack Greenberg, gives reasons opposing the death penalty in his work “Against the American System of Capital Punishment.” There are theories as to why the death penalty is necessary; however, these theories cause controversy. By the deterrence theory, the death penalty is thought of as a deterrent to future homicides and crime. The retribution theory can be thought of as “just deserts,” meaning a deserved punishment. Although thousands receive …show more content…
Not only that, most criminals are not in their right mind when committing a crime, so the ability to weigh out odds and consequences is diminished. The retribution theory is a moral argument because there is no general rule to know for sure of certain punishments and ways to execute punishment. It is not possible to pinpoint the exact level of punishment needed for a certain crime; moreover, it is not possible to put a price on a human life. An eye-for-an-eye cannot be measured out with human lives or the crimes committed. A criminal who committed a heinous crime should have to suffer for his previous actions, not with an ended life. Here, those in favor of the death penalty would probably object that death ultimately is the most severe pun-ishment for only the most severe crime. Because a human’s life is priceless, they cannot just be put to death, but a punishment that could be rightfully deserved is life imprisonment without

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