What Do Murderers Deserve By David Gelernter Analysis

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In “What Do Murderers Deserve”, David Gelernter’s essay, the main topic is capital punishment. Everyone has an opinion on capital punishment. It is a very controversial topic and whether you agree with it or not, is completely up to you. In “What Do Murderers Deserve”, Gelernter chooses to agree with capital punishment. The article starts out with Gelernter providing two examples. A Texas woman, Karla Tucker, murdered two people, expressed regret and remorse about her wrongdoing in prison, and was put to death. However, Theodore Kaczynski murdered three people and did not repent. He plead guilty and was not executed. When a murder takes place in a community, the community is split up. Gelernter wishes when a murder happens that …show more content…
This is a form of incapacitation. A good example would be a robber put in prison is no longer able to rob anymore. Similarly, murderers are killed to prevent them from murdering again, either in prison or in society, if they get out. Both act as a deterrent and as permanent incapacitation. Deterrence claims that capital punishment helps prevent future crime. Proportional retributivism, as we discussed in class, requires that punishment must be proportional to crimes. Society is expected to give its most terrible crimes its most terrible punishments. Reiman believes that execution is extremely similar to torture. Killing defenseless human beings enacts the defeat of that person. Although execution may be physically painless, it causes an intense and severe psychological pain. He also believes that we, as a society, should place capital punishment in the same category as torture: things that we should never do to human beings, even when they deserve them, because how horrible they are. Reiman believes that punishing a murderer with life in prison, instead of with death penalty as the lex talionis would demand, would meet the necessary conditions he specifies for an acceptable and just alternative …show more content…
The punishment should be based upon some form of equivalence. In this case, lex talionis demands that a murderer must receive the death penalty. The murderer took someone’s life, therefore his or her life must be taken away as well. Nevertheless, there is no way we can measure how much harm has been done. Lex talionis could be partially impractical and inadequate in this situation. For example, if a person murders a hundred people, there technically is no justice in the form of punishment available that will be proportional and can equate to the amount of damage done by the

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