Presentation on theme: "1 SHOULD ANY PERSON DIE FOR A CRIME S/HE COMMITTED? THE ISSUE OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Christopher Ullman Ethics."— Presentation transcript:
1 SHOULD ANY PERSON DIE FOR A CRIME S/HE COMMITTED? THE ISSUE OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Christopher Ullman Ethics
2 SHOULD ANY PERSON DIE FOR A CRIME S/HE COMMITTED? TOPICS TO CONSIDER: Theories of punishment Arguments for capital punishment Arguments against capital punishment Evaluating the objections FOOD FOR THOUGHT Televised executions? Torture: is it ever an option to consider?
3 Theories of punishment Retribution (the Deserts Theory) Goal: To discipline the wrongdoer for the crime to the degree of severity that fits the crime Utilitarian (the Results Theory) Goals: To punish to accomplish a purpose To deter crime To protect society To rehabilitate the criminal
4 Theories of punishment (continued) Restitution (the Compensation Theory) Goal: To pay back or compensate the crime victim(s) Question: Is there room in any of the theories for the death penalty? The Deserts Theory: The Results Theory: The Compensation Theory:
5 Arguments FOR Capital Punishment 1. “It’s not torture...” 2. “Execution alone satisfies the need for justice.” 3. “The ultimate crime demands the ultimate punishment.” 4. “The death penalty deters others and stops the criminal from striking again.”
6 Arguments FOR Capital Punishment 5. “Rehabilitation is not possible in some cases.” 6. “Some criminals want to be executed.” 7. “The victim’s family demands revenge, or at least closure.” 8. “To murder a human is to destroy one made in the image of God. Murder, therefore is in a category all its own.”
7 Arguments AGAINST Capital Punishment 1. “Capital punishment imposes suffering not only on the criminal but also on his executioners.” 2. “The death penalty is irrevocable.” 3. “The nature of the death penalty distorts the justice system: It’s not swift. It imposes obsessive fear on the condemned.”
8 Arguments AGAINST Capital Punishment 4. “The State is a teacher. How can the State teach its citizens that death by execution is an acceptable and necessary function of the State, while protecting life in all of its other capacities?” 5. “Death penalties do not deter violent crime.” 6. “Death penalties are unequally enforced on the poor and minorities.”
9 A Key Consideration Is our opposition to capital punishment An objection to the ways in which C.P. currently takes place? This would be a “what-ness” objection “It’s what actually happens that bothers me” An objection to C.P. in all forms? This would be a “that-ness” objection “I object to the very idea that anyone should be executed for a crime, regardless of what actually happens.” What-ness objections can be resolved by changing the ways in which C.P. takes place
Scriptures the Retentionist Uses Genesis 9:6 Numbers 35:30 Deuteronomy 19:21 Ezekiel 18:11-13 Romans 13:3-4 Acts 25:10-11 A few examples of specific directives Exodus 21:12-16 Exodus 22:18-20 Leviticus 20:9-21 Leviticus 24:10-17 10
11 Scriptures the Abolitionist Uses Matthew 5:38-39 Romans 6:14 John 13:34 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 2 Peter 3:9 Romans 12:19 A few examples of mercy instead of capital punishment John 8:3-8:11 Philemon 10-18 Genesis 4:14-15
12 Points to Ponder Mosaic specific capital crimes are Not required in our legal code Instructive in assessing levels of non-capital punishment (at least) Genesis 9:6 predates the Mosaic Code C.P. for premeditated murder based on imago Dei Corporate ethics differ from personal ethics Governments are to be God’s ministers of judgment
Questions Can a pro-life person be in favor of capital punishment? Is capital punishment required? Is capital punishment prohibited? Is capital punishment permitted? What is a procedural abolitionist? What is the point of the 8 th Amendment? What is the best-bet argument? 13
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