Bentham and the death penalty

Dialogue 45 (2):211-231 (2006)
Abstract
This article examines the three works of Jeremy Bentham on capital punishment dating Irom 1775, 1809, and 1831. Besides Hugo Bedau’s analysis of Bentham’s 1775 and 1831 works and James Crimmins’s assessment of Bentham’s 1809 work, little attention has been paid to his abolitionist arguments on this contentious issue. I review some of the developments in Bentham’s position, noting where the later work corrects some deficiencies in the earlier work, and I assess the cogency of the position as it evolves. I concentrate on deterrence and irremissibility, though I also comment on his discussion of popularity in his 1831 address and his 1775 essay.Cet article se penche sur les trois textes qu’a écrits Jeremy Bentham sur la peine capitale (ils datent de 1775, 1809 et 1831). Hormis l’analyse qu’a faite Hugo Bedau des textes de 1775 et 1831 et la prise en compte, par Benjamin Crimmins, de celui de 1809, la position abolitionniste de Bentham sur cette question controversée ne s’est méritée que très peu d’attention de la part des spécialistes. Je passe en revue le développement de quelques-unes des argumentations de Bentham, en soulignant sur quels points les ouvrages publiés plus tard corrigent certains délauts de ceux publiés auparavant, et j’évalue la cohérence de son argumentation dans le cadre de cette évolution. Je concentre mon attention sur les notions de dissuasion et d’irrémissibilité, tout en commentant le traitement qu’il fait de la question de lapopularité dans son discours de 1831 et dans son texte de 1775
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Jaakko Kuosmanen (2014). What's So Special About Persecution? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (1):129-140.
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