Van Deen Hog Essay

4037 WordsApr 25, 201217 Pages
. SUMMARY: ... Nonetheless, the death penalty looms large in discussions: it raises important moral questions independent of the number of executions. ... The death penalty is our harshest punishment. ... Further, maldistribution inheres no more in capital punishment than in any other punishment. ... Many nondecisive issues are associated with capital punishment. ... We cannot know whether the murderer on death row suffers more than his victim suffered; however, unlike the murderer, the victim deserved none of the suffering inflicted. ... Although penalties can be unwise, repulsive, or inappropriate, and those punished can be pitiable, in a sense the infliction of legal punishment on a guilty person cannot be unjust. ... To regard the death penalty as always excessive, one must believe that no crime -- no matter how heinous -- could possibly justify capital punishment. ... Justice Brennan has insisted that the death penalty is "uncivilized," "inhuman," inconsistent with "human dignity" and with "the sanctity of life," that it "treats members of the human race as nonhumans, as objects to be toyed with and discarded," that it is "uniquely degrading to human dignity" and "by its very nature, [involves] a denial of the executed person's humanity." ... They thought that execution, when deserved, is required for the sake of the convict's dignity. ... Execution of those who have committed heinous murders may deter only one murder per year. ... TEXT: [*1662] In an average year about 20,000 homicides occur in the United States. Fewer than 300 convicted murderers are sentenced to death. But because no more than thirty murderers have been executed in any recent year, most convicts sentenced to death are likely to die of old age. n1 Nonetheless, the death penalty looms large in discussions: it raises important moral questions independent of the number of

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