Capital Punishment And The Categorical Imperative Essay

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Capital Punishment and the Categorical Imperative Theory Capital Punishment has long been a controversial issue. The death penalty by law fluctuates throughout the history of its enforcement. Still today, the issue divides the United States in altercation. However, 35 states impose the death penalty. Never the less, capital punishment does come with restrictions. In 2004, the Resolution Supporting Worldwide Moratorium on Executions was once again passed by the United Nations (Amnesty International). This proclaims restrictions on internal executions. The restrictions include; the limitation of the number of offenses for which it can be imposed, as well as not imposing it on juvenile offenders. Even with the restrictions, the issue is still torn with pros and cons. Founding father James Madison said, “If men were angles no government would be necessary.” However, men are not angels so we have governments with laws and systems to enforce those laws. Without punishment laws would be useless. James Madison also said, “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” Is the United States government right for utilizing the death penalty as a means to enforce the laws? Another great mind, philosopher Immanuel Kant, founded the theory of categorical imperative; a theory used to determine a good reasonable act. Using his theory to test the nature of capital punishment proves that the death penalty is unjust. The categorical imperative theory is divided into three determinants. The first is the principle of universality; something is only a moral law if it is applied to everyone. As stated above, the United Nations put forth limitations on internal executions limiting such people as juveniles, the elderly and pregnant women (Amnesty International). In 2005, the Supreme Court in the case Roperv. Simmons the death

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