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The Pros And Cons Of Capital Punishment

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Capital Punishment has been up for debate as early as the 1700s. Human rights activists, religious groups, and economists have been consistent stakeholders in protest again capital punishment. Human rights activists believe that no judge or jury should be able to decide whether someone lives or dies. Religious groups consider all life to be sacred. And economists have proven that the death penalty is very costly on taxpayers.
John Stuart Mill was a philosopher who questioned execution in response to crime. Mill was an advocate of Utilitarianism, which is the idea of generating overall happiness, and retrieving the most utility for every human. Therefore, instead of executing criminals, it would be best to maximize their utility. A way to maximize a criminal’s utility would be to benefit off of their servitude. However, forcing individuals to work as servants would not generate the most happiness, so it’s a two edged sword. Although utilitarians believe in consequences, they believe in generating consequences that result in happiness. There are many negatives that come from capital punishment that Mill (1865) would be opposed to. He states: “There is not, I should think, any human infliction which makes an impression on the imagination so entirely out of proportion to its real severity as the punishment of death. The punishment must be mild indeed which does not add more to the sum of human misery than is necessarily or directly added by the execution of a criminal.” (Mill,
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