David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The Case Against the Death Penalty, authored by capital punishment scholar Hugo Adam Bedau and published by the American Civil Liberties Union, is a leading publication on capital punishment and in particular on the abolition of the practice. In this seminal work, Bedau offers eight arguments as to why capital punishment is inconsistent with the Constitution and the fundamental principles undergirding the American criminal justice system. Specifically, Bedau argues that capital punishment does not deter capital crimes, is unfair, is irreversible, is barbarous, is unjustified retribution, costs more than incarceration, is less popular than alternative punishments, and is internationally viewed as inhumane and anachronistic.Despite its continuing influence, The Case Against the Death Penalty, has not been directly or comprehensively challenged in any academic legal journal. This Article attempts, for the first time, to fully examine the eight objections to capital punishment advanced by Bedau. In doing so, this Article draws upon Supreme Court jurisprudence, including the landmark Furman v. Georgia decision, government studies, legal and philosophical commentary, and other contemporary sources.The Article provides a brief historical overview of the development of capital punishment in the United States. It finds that the barbarity, cost, domestic popularity, and global attitudes claims are irrelevant to a determination of whether capital punishment is compatible with American laws and principles. It further finds that the arbitrary imposition, killing of the innocent, and deterrence arguments are inconclusive. As a result, the Article concludes with the observation that Bedau's final argument, that capital punishment is unjustified retribution, is the only one that is ultimately salient. It further argues that this argument amounts to a moral determination as to whether the death penalty is a just form of punishment and it is this inherently value-based judgment that will decide the fate of capital punishment in this nation.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Oliver O'Donovan (1977). Measure for Measure: Justice in Punishment and the Sentence of Death. Grove Books.
A. John Simmons (2009). Locke on the Death Penalty. Philosophy 69 (270):471-.
Joseph B. R. Gaie (2004). The Ethics of Medical Involvement in Capital Punishment: A Philosophical Discussion. Kluwer Academic.
Thomas W. Satre (1991). Human Dignity and Capital Punishment. Journal of Philosophical Research 16:233-250.
William A. Edmundson (2002). Afterword: Proportionality and the Difference Death Makes. Criminal Justice Ethics 21 (2):40-43.
Adina Nicoleta Gavrilă (2011). Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished? Arguments for and Against the Centuries-Old Punishment. Journal for Communication and Culture 1 (2):82-98.
Patrick Lenta & Douglas Farland (2008). Desert, Justice and Capital Punishment. Criminal Law and Philosophy 2 (3):273-290.
Thom Brooks (2004). Retributivist Arguments Against Capital Punishment. Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (2):188–197.
Jeremy Bentham (2009). The Rationale of Punishment. Prometheus Books.
Marguerite la Caze (2009). Derrida: Opposing Death Penalties. Derrida Today 2 (2):186-199.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads74 ( #19,044 of 1,102,742 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #296,833 of 1,102,742 )
How can I increase my downloads?