An argument in favor of the death sentence as a punishment and deterrent to future capital offences

A chump might figure that, being a Texan whose base is in the South and Midwest, he was making the usual condemnation of coastal elites and arugula-eating liberals that every other Republican has made before him, maybe with a special nod to the fact that his two most relevant opponents, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, were both from New York.

An argument in favor of the death sentence as a punishment and deterrent to future capital offences

What I want to say on the matter falls under three headings: There is a fundamental connection between punishment and separation from the community in which one committed a crime.

Children who misbehave at table are sent to their rooms. Dishonest lawyers are disbarred. Likewise a criminal, by the very act of committing a capital crime, separates himself decisively from society. The sentences of exile and life imprisonment are public judgments which are understood to confirm that separation.

Capital punishment is the extreme instance of separation. It follows that it always remains a possibility that capital punishment be prudentially justified, namely, when society wishes to express and confirm its abhorrence for certain crimes, by the definitive separation of the criminal from society.

A clear example would be the execution of the Nuremberg war criminals. These criminals were not merely executed, but also their mortal remains were cremated and the ashes scattered.

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So that they would in no sense continue to abide as a presence in society. Today many communities reasonably want to separate serial murderers from themselves in the same way. Thus, an attitude which absolutely opposes the death penalty, in all circumstances, must be an attitude which downplays or even rejects the aspect of separation, so fundamental to punishment.

From that point of view even imprisonment, as it is a separation, can appear suspect. In the pages of the Pennsylvania grand jury report, one sees repeated instances of bishops unwilling to separate offending priests from priestly ministry. Once he is ordained, he is a priest forever. Thomas observes —merely summarizing two millennia of human wisdom—vengeance, the habit of soul by which we earnestly wish that offenders receive due punishment, is a virtue, not a vice.

No one can genuinely possess the cardinal virtue of justice if he lacks the minor, though essential, virtue of vengeance. But is vengeance contrary to gospel meekness? The good bear with the wicked by enduring patiently, and in due manner, the wrongs they themselves receive from them: Vengeance is the habit of earnestly wishing for and willing due punishment.

It follows that anyone who regards punishment as solely remedial, by the nature of the case, cannot have this virtue. Such a person will indeed appear complacent and passive in the face of grave wrongdoing, because vengeance stirs up anger and incites to action.

Our hierarchy has evidently been complacent before evil. But what is the connection between vengeance and capital punishment? In theory, it would be possible for someone to reject the death penalty without rejecting retribution as the basis of punishment.

An argument in favor of the death sentence as a punishment and deterrent to future capital offences

But in practice, opponents of the death penalty also reject retributive justice, presumably because they recognize the immediate fittingness of punishing murder with death, affirmed indeed by God at the beginning of the Bible Gen 9: Pope Francis, in the previously cited letter, even seems to regard retribution as nonsensical: Moreover, it is applied to people whose capacity to cause harm is not current, but has already been neutralized, and who are deprived of their freedom.

Obviously, punishment is retrospective, administered for crimes committed in the past—otherwise, murderers who have no reason for killing anyone beside their past victim ought to be released. Vengeance takes on a combative aspect and is a noticeable trait in a strong father, who, precisely because he loves his child, cannot tolerate wrongdoing in him, as Scripture repeatedly says Proverbs 3: But this makes strong fathers also strong protectors.

It is obvious that our bishops have failed to be strong fathers in the face of sexual unchastity. They have combated neither unchastity in priests, nor unchastity in their congregations, nor, for the most part, unchastity in our culture. The tradition says that the death penalty may sometimes be necessary to defend society against the aggressor, and in such cases the state may even have a duty to use it.Feb 19,  · One of the best arguments for the death penalty is that capital punishment is a huge deterrent we have to prevent others from committing heinous crimes.

The best way to deal with crime obviously is to stop it Reviews: is and in to a was not you i of it the be he his but for are this that by on at they with which she or from had we will have an what been one if would who has her.

Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is a government-sanctioned practice whereby a person is killed by the state as a punishment for a crime. The sentence that someone be punished in such a manner is referred to as a death sentence, whereas the act of carrying out the sentence is known as an execution.

Criminologists' Views on Deterrence and the Death Penalty. A survey of the most leading criminologists in the country from found that the overwhelming majority did not believe that the death penalty is a proven deterrent to homicide.

An argument in favor of the death sentence as a punishment and deterrent to future capital offences

Capital punishment is the lawful infliction of death as a punishment and since ancient times it has been used for a wide variety of offences. The Bible prescribes death for murder and many other crimes including kidnapping and witchcraft.

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Facts about Deterrence and the Death Penalty | Death Penalty Information Center