Discuss possible justifications for the institution of punishment in general and capital punishment in particular

Before taking on specific issues dealing with capital punishment, it seems that the institution of punishment itself requires justification. All punishments are intentional. That is, it involves intentionally imposing pain, hardship, and, in the case of capital punishment, eve death on another human being. Intentionally doing such things generally constitutes behavior that is deemed unethical or immoral.

Discuss possible justifications for the institution of punishment in general and capital punishment in particular. Do you think that capital punishment is morally justified? why or why not? Explain your arguments.
Suppose that you were a member of a congressional or other committee that had as its mandate determining the type of crime that could be considered to be punishable by death. What kind of cases, if any, would you put on the list? Sexual assault and killing of a minor? Panned killing of a batterer by his (or her) spouse? Persons convicted of war crimes? Mob leaders or others who give an order to kill but who do not carry it out themselves? Killing of a police officer or public figure? Multiple murderers? Others?
Why would you pick out just those crimes on your list as appropriately punished by death or as the worst crimes?


 

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