Is Capital Punishment Ever Morally or Ethically Permissible?

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Capital punishment is never morally justified, and feminist, progressive and socialist ethics would always consider the social and family environment that produced the criminal in the first place, including poverty, racism, segregation or other types of oppression. It would also examine ways that society could be reformed on restricted in ways that would reduce oppression, such as ending the ghettoization of minorities or the extreme inequality between rich and poor in the United States. Indeed, inequality is more extreme in the U.S, than any other Western nation, the prison population is larger and the social safety net much weaker. These conditions have worsened during the present recession, particularly for blacks and Hispanics. Among Western nations, only the U.S. still practices capital punishment even though there was a moratorium in 1967-77 because of Supreme Court rulings. Feminist ethics would also emphasize caring, community, empathy and interpersonal relationships instead of morality based on following rules and regulations (Volbrect 17). Their response to the death penalty as well as war and other forms of public or state-sanctioned violence would therefore be pacifist, and demand social, economic and cultural change rather than punishment of perpetrators. There were fifty-two executions in the United States in 2009 and forty-six in 2010, with over 3,000 people waiting on death row for their sentences to be carried out. In most cases these never will be

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