Capital Punishment And The Death Penalty

1714 WordsDec 9, 20167 Pages
Capital punishment, or the death penalty is the legally authorized death of an individual as punishment for a heinous crime, typically one that involves murder. The legality of it varies by state and it continues to be a contentious topic of discussion in the United States. Furthermore, in recent decades, public opinion has been shifting from a supportive stance to an unsupportive stance on the use of the death penalty. It is now perceived by most people to be an unethical, immoral, and expensive way to punish criminals. There are also concerns about the possible execution of potentially innocent people. In utilizing a utilitarian philosophy regarding capital punishment, the crux of the issue pertains to whether or not a potential act will lead to a feeling of pleasure or pain. By applying this view, the death penalty is considered to be an immoral and evil due to the fact that it inflicts pain on the criminal before, during and after the action is performed. The moral framework I tend to personally abide by is utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is the ethical concept that the actions that lead to the most pleasure are moral and good, whereas those that lead to pain are an immoral evil (Boss 23). When making decisions, I contemplate the advantages and disadvantages of each option presented before acting upon it. In addition, I consider those who would possibly be affected by my decision both positively and negatively. Like utilitarianism, I choose the option with the least
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