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  1. Can Capital Punishment Survive If Black Lives Matter?Michael Cholbi & Alex Madva - forthcoming - In Michael Cholbi, Brandon Hogan, Alex Madva & Benjamin Yost (eds.), The Movement for Black Lives: Philosophical Perspectives. New York:
    Drawing upon empirical studies of racial discrimination dating back to the 1940’s, the Movement for Black Lives platform calls for the abolition of capital punishment. Our purpose here is to defend the Movement’s call for death penalty abolition in terms congruent with its claim that the death penalty in the U.S. is a “racist practice” that “devalues Black lives.” We first sketch the jurisprudential history of race and capital punishment in the U.S., wherein courts have occasionally expressed worries about racial (...)
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  2. Why Must Punishment Be Unusual as Well as Cruel To Be Unconstitutional?David Hershenov - forthcoming - Public Affairs Quarterly.
  3. Capital Punishment: Philosophical Issues and Contemporary Problems in Nigeria.M. Adekunle Owoade - forthcoming - Second Order (New Series): An African Journal of Philosophy.
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  4. Against Capital Punishment.Benjamin S. Yost - 2019 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    _Against Capital Punishment_ offers an innovative proceduralist argument against the death penalty. Worries about procedural injustice animate many popular and scholarly objections to capital punishment. Philosophers and legal theorists are attracted to procedural abolitionism because it sidesteps controversies over whether murderers deserve death, holding out a promise of gaining rational purchase among death penalty retentionists. Following in this path, the book remains agnostic on the substantive immorality of execution; in fact, it takes pains to reconstruct the best arguments for capital (...)
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  5. African Values and Capital Punishment (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - In David R. Morrow (ed.), Moral Reasoning: A Text and Reader on Ethics and Contemporary Moral Issues. Oxford University Press. pp. 372-377.
    Reprint of a chapter first published in _African Philosophy and the Future of Africa_ (2011).
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  6. How Should One Live? An Introduction to Ethics and Moral Reasoning.Bradley Thames - 2018 - San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.
    This book provides an entry-level introduction to philosophical ethics, theories of moral reasoning, and selected issues in applied ethics. Chapter 1 describes the importance of philosophical approaches to ethical issues, the general dialectical form of moral reasoning, and the broad landscape of moral philosophy. Chapter 2 presents egoism and relativism as challenges to the presumed objectivity and unconditionality of morality. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 discuss utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics, respectively. Each chapter begins with a general overview of the (...)
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  7. Taking Deterrence Seriously: The Wide-Scope Deterrence Theory of Punishment.Lee Hsin-wen - 2017 - Criminal Justice Ethics 36 (1):2-24.
    A deterrence theory of punishment holds that the institution of criminal punishment is morally justified because it serves to deter crime. Because the fear of external sanction is an important incentive in crime deterrence, the deterrence theory is often associated with the idea of severe, disproportionate punishment. An objection to this theory holds that hope of escape renders even the severest punishment inapt and irrelevant. -/- This article revisits the concept of deterrence and defend a more plausible deterrence theory of (...)
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  8. Contractualism and the Death Penalty.Li Hon Lam - 2017 - Criminal Justice Ethics 36 (2):152-182.
    It is a truism that there are erroneous convictions in criminal trials. Recent legal findings show that 3.3% to 5%of all convictions in capital rape-murder cases in the U.S. in the 1980s were erroneous convictions. Given this fact, what normative conclusions can be drawn? First, the article argues that a moderately revised version of Scanlon’ s contractualism offers an attractive moral vision that is different from utilitarianism or other consequentialist theories, or from purely deontological theories. It then brings this version (...)
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  9. African Values and Capital Punishment.Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - In Gerard Walmsley (ed.), African Philosophy and the Future of Africa. Council for Research in Values and Philosophy. pp. 83-90.
    What is the strongest argument grounded in African values, i.e., those salient among indigenous peoples below the Sahara desert, for abolishing capital punishment? I defend a particular answer to this question, one that invokes an under-theorized conception of human dignity. Roughly, I maintain that the death penalty is nearly always morally unjustified, and should therefore be abolished, because it degrades people’s special capacity for communal relationships. To defend this claim, I proceed by clarifying what I aim to achieve in this (...)
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  10. Belief and Death: Capital Punishment and the Competence-for-Execution Requirement.David M. Adams - 2016 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (1):17-30.
    A curious and comparatively neglected element of death penalty jurisprudence in America is my target in this paper. That element concerns the circumstances under which severely mentally disabled persons, incarcerated on death row, may have their sentences carried out. Those circumstances are expressed in a part of the law which turns out to be indefensible. This legal doctrine—competence-for-execution —holds that a condemned, death-row inmate may not be killed if, at the time of his scheduled execution, he lacks an awareness of (...)
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  11. “Such is Life”: Euthanasia and Capital Punishment in Australia: Consistency or Contradiction?Quinlan Michael - 2016 - Solidarity: The Journal of Catholic Social Thought and Secular Ethics 6 (1):Article 6.
    Lawful euthanasia involves State endorsed termination of human life. Apart from a period of less than 9 months, in the Northern Territory, euthanasia has been illegal in Australia. Many of Australia’s parliaments have regularly considered introducing the practice and they continue to do so. In this context, this paper considers another type of State endorsed termination of human life: capital punishment. These took place in Australia from 1788 to 1967. The practice was abolished nationwide by 1985 and the Commonwealth passed (...)
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  12. Why Did Aquinas Hold That Killing is Sometimes Just, But Never Lying?John Skalko - 2016 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 90:227-241.
    Aquinas held that lying is always a sin, an evil action. In later terminology it falls under what would be called an intrinsically evil action. Under no circumstances can it be a good action. Following Augustine, Aquinas held that even if others must die, one must still never tell a lie. Yet when it comes to self-defense and capital punishment Aquinas’s reasoning seems at odds with itself. One may kill a man in self-defense. Similarly, just as a diseased limb may (...)
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  13. U.S. Racism and Derrida’s Theologico-Political Sovereignty.Geoffrey Adelsberg - 2015 - In Lisa Guenther, Geoffrey Adelsberg & Scott Zeman (eds.), Death and Other Penalties: Philosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration. Bronx, NY: Fordham Up. pp. 83-94.
    This essay draws on the work of Jacques Derrida and Angela Y. Davis towards a philosophical resistance to the death penalty in the U.S. I find promise in Derrida’s claim that resistance to the death penalty ought to contest a political structure that founds itself on having the power to decide life and death, but I move beyond Derrida’s desire to consider the abolition of the death penalty without engaging with the particular histories and geographies of European colonialism. I offer (...)
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  14. Capital Punishment as a Response to Evil.Peter Brian Barry - 2015 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 9 (2):245-264.
    Some jurisdictions acknowledge, as a matter of positive law, the relevance of evil to capital punishment. At one point, the state of Florida counted that the fact that a murderer’s crime was “especially wicked, evil, atrocious or cruel” as an aggravating factor for purposes of capital sentencing. I submit that Florida may be onto something. I consider a thesis about capital punishment that strikes me as plausible on its face: if capital punishment is ever morally permissible, it is permissible as (...)
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  15. Judging the Goring Ox: Retribution Directed Toward Animals.Geoffrey P. Goodwin & Adam Benforado - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (3):619-646.
    Prior research on the psychology of retribution is complicated by the difficulty of separating retributive and general deterrence motives when studying human offenders . We isolate retribution by investigating judgments about punishing animals, which allows us to remove general deterrence from consideration. Studies 2 and 3 document a “victim identity” effect, such that the greater the perceived loss from a violent animal attack, the greater the belief that the culprit deserves to be killed. Study 3 documents a “targeted punishment” effect, (...)
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  16. Death and Other Penalties: Philosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration.Lisa Guenther, Geoffrey Adelsberg & Scott Zeman (eds.) - 2015 - Fordham UP.
    Motivated by a conviction that mass incarceration and state execution are among the most important ethical and political problems of our time, the contributors to this volume come together from a diverse range of backgrounds to analyze, critique, and envision alternatives to the injustices of the U.S. prison system, with recourse to deconstruction, phenomenology, critical race theory, feminism, queer theory, and disability studies. They engage with the hyper-incarceration of people of color, the incomplete abolition of slavery, the exploitation of prisoners (...)
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  17. Does Communicative Retributivism Necessarily Negate Capital Punishment?Jimmy Chia-Shin Hsu - 2015 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 9 (4):603-617.
    Does communicative retributivism necessarily negate capital punishment? My answer is no. I argue that there is a place, though a very limited and unsettled one, for capital punishment within the theoretical vision of communicative retributivism. The death penalty, when reserved for extravagantly evil murderers for the most heinous crimes, is justifiable by communicative retributive ideals. I argue that punishment as censure is a response to the preceding message sent by the offender through his criminal act. The gravity of punishment should (...)
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  18. The Purgative Rationale for the Death Penalty: Replies to Steiker and Danaher.Matthew H. Kramer - 2015 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 9 (2):379-394.
    This article defends my 2011 book “The Ethics of Capital Punishment” against the thoughtful critiques written by Carol Steiker and John Danaher respectively. It does not attempt to respond to every point of contention in the two critiques, but concentrates instead on a few of the main points from each of them.
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  19. TheLex Talionis, the Purgative Rationale, and the Death Penalty.Patrick Lenta - 2015 - Criminal Justice Ethics 34 (1):42-63.
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  20. The Ethics of Capital Punishment. A Philosophical Investigation of Evil and Its Consequences, by Matthew H. Kramer. [REVIEW]Claes Lernestedt - 2015 - Mind 124 (493):361-366.
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  21. The Right to Kill in Cold Blood: Does the Death Penalty Violate Human Rights?Alan Ryan - 2015 - In The Making of Modern Liberalism. Princeton University Press. pp. 139-156.
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  22. Lethal Injection in Uncharted Territory: The Need to Ensure the Humanity of Current Death Penalty Practices.Rebecca Salk - 2015 - Criminal Justice Ethics 34 (3):284-311.
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  23. Can/Should We Purge Evil Through Capital Punishment?Carol S. Steiker - 2015 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 9 (2):367-378.
    Matthew Kramer’s The Ethics of Capital Punishment: A Philosophical Investigation of Evil and its Consequences explores the morality of capital punishment and develops his own “purgative rationale” in support of the practice. I present my objections to Kramer’s purgative rationale and trace our disagreement to differences over the nature of evil, the autonomy of human character formation, and the concept of defilement.
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  24. Capital Punishment and Roman Catholic Moral Tradition, Second Edition.E. Christian Brugger - 2014 - University of Notre Dame Press.
    Why is the Catholic Church against the death penalty? This second edition of Brugger’s classic work _Capital Punishment and Roman Catholic Moral Tradition_ traces the doctrinal path the Church has taken over the centuries to its present position as the world’s largest and most outspoken opponent of capital punishment. The pontificate of John Paul II marked a watershed in Catholic thinking. The pope taught that the death penalty is and can only be rightly assessed as a form of self-defense. But (...)
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  25. Drugs and the Death Penalty.Rebecca Dresser - 2014 - Hastings Center Report 44 (1):9-10.
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  26. Flouting the Demands of Justice? Physician Participation in Executions.Adam Kadlac - 2014 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (5):505-522.
    Those who argue against physician participation in state mandated executions tend to bracket the question of whether the death penalty should be abolished. I argue that these issues cannot be neatly separated. On the one hand, if justice demands that some criminals be executed for their crimes, then there can be no ethical or moral barrier to the participation of physicians in the execution process. On the other hand, I contend that the testimony and expertise of the medical community is (...)
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  27. Technologies of Life and Death: From Cloning to Capital Punishment by Kelly Oliver. [REVIEW]Rafe McGregor - 2014 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (2):217-219.
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  28. Technologies of Life and Death: From Cloning to Capital Punishment by Kelly Oliver, 2013 New York, Fordham University Pressxii + 262 Pp., £18.99. [REVIEW]Rafe McGregor - 2014 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (2):217-219.
  29. The Political Use of Capital Punishment as a Legitimation Strategy of the Communist Regime in Romania, 1944-1958.Radu Stancu - 2014 - History of Communism in Europe 5:106-130.
    In this article, I will describe the evolution of capital punishment and the influence that ideology had during the founding years of Romania’s communist regime, until 1958, when the legislation and application of capital punishment reached its highest peak. Starting with the punishment of war criminals and fascists, I will then describe how the death penalty was used for political motives in a period when the regime had to consolidate, legitimate and fight different enemies. With ups and downs like The (...)
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  30. The Structure of Death Penalty Arguments.Matt Stichter - 2014 - Res Publica 20 (2):129-143.
    In death penalty debates, advocates on both sides have advanced a staggering number of arguments to defend their positions. Many of those arguments fail to support retaining or abolishing the death penalty, and often this is due to advocates pursuing a line of reasoning where the conclusion, even if correctly established, will not ultimately prove decisive. Many of these issues are also interconnected and shouldn’t be treated separately. The goal of this paper is to provide some clarity about which specific (...)
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  31. Justiça e Punição na Filosofia do Direito de Hegel.Thadeu Weber & Ítalo da Silva Alves - 2014 - Direitos Fundamentais and Justiça 28:153-164.
    In this paper, we attempt to reconstruct Hegel’s theory of punishment through its development on the levels of abstract right and civil society, incorporating to the latter the concepts of contingency and arbitrariness. We demonstrate how the unjust is anulled and how right is restored under a retributive foundation of the penalty. We approach the issue of the death penalty and conclude that a retibutivist argument is insufficient to serve as its foundation.
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  32. Drone Penalty.David Wills - 2014 - Substance 43 (2):174-192.
    As will be argued in what follows, the central question of the death penalty is the question of time. That question begins, in the present case, with the time of a writing that attempts to address what we call current events, particularly an academic writing—as distinct, for example, from journalistic writing—whose rhythms of composition and publication obey particular protocols and render problematic the specifics of what we call political intervention, the relevance or efficacy of which is normally determined by a (...)
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  33. Book Review: John Howard Yoder, The End of Sacrifice: The Capital Punishment Writings of John Howard Yoder, Ed. John C. Nugent. [REVIEW]Tobias Winright - 2014 - Studies in Christian Ethics 27 (1):124-126.
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  34. The Rescue Defence of Capital Punishment.Steve Aspenson - 2013 - Ratio 26 (1):91-105.
    Many political philosophers today think of justice as fundamentally about fairness, while those who defend capital punishment typically hold that justice is fundamentally about desert. In this paper I show that justice as fairness calls for capital punishment because the continued existence of murderers increases unfairness between themselves and their victims, increasing the harm to murdered persons. Rescuing murdered persons from increasing harm is prima facie morally required, and so capital punishment is a prima facie duty of society and sentencing (...)
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  35. Considering Capital Punishment as a Human Interaction.Christopher Bennett - 2013 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 7 (2):367-382.
    This paper contributes to the normative debate over capital punishment by looking at whether the role of executioner is one in which it is possible and proper to take pride. The answer to the latter question turns on the kind of justification the agent can give for what she does in carrying out the role. So our inquiry concerns whether the justifications available to an executioner could provide him with the kind of justification necessary for him to take pride in (...)
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  36. A Reasoned Argument Against Banning Psychologists' Involvement in Death Penalty Cases.Stanley L. Brodsky, Tess M. S. Neal & Michelle A. Jones - 2013 - Ethics and Behavior 23 (1):62-66.
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  37. Pacifism and Punishment.J. Angelo Corlett - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (4):945-958.
    This article seeks to expose some of the implications of certain versions of pacifism for matters of criminal punishment, arguing that the plausibility of these versions of pacifism depend on the extent to which their implicit denials of certain central punishment-related concepts are themselves reasonable.
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  38. Kramer’s Purgative Rationale for Capital Punishment: A Critique.John Danaher - 2013 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 9 (2):225-244.
    Matthew Kramer has recently defended a novel justification for the death penalty, something he calls the purgative rationale. According to this rationale, the death penalty can be justifiably implemented if it is necessary in order to purge defilingly evil offenders from a moral community. Kramer claims that this rationale overcomes the problems associated with traditional rationales for the death penalty. Although Kramer is to be commended for carving out a novel niche in a well-worn dialectical space, I argue that his (...)
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  39. Capital Punishment: Its Lost Appeal?Christopher P. Ferbrache - 2013 - Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism 21 (2):75-89.
    A large proportion of the population thinks that capital punishment is a reasonable method to reduce crime and punish those who have been convicted of a capital crime. I discuss aspects to the philosophy of capital punishment, and analyze factual elements of murder conviction processes, to significantly cast doubt on the pro-capital punishment argument. In order to measure the true value and need for capital punishment, one must analyze pro capital punishment arguments in light of the alternatives. While theories of (...)
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  40. The Singleton Case: Enforcing Medical Treatment to Put a Person to Death. [REVIEW]Mirko Daniel Garasic - 2013 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (4):795-806.
    In October 2003 the Supreme Court of the United States allowed Arkansas officials to force Charles Laverne Singleton, a schizophrenic prisoner convicted of murder, to take drugs that would render him sane enough to be executed. On January 6 2004 he was killed by lethal injection, raising many ethical questions. By reference to the Singleton case, this article will analyse in both moral and legal terms the controversial justifications of the enforced medical treatment of death-row inmates. Starting with a description (...)
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  41. The Death Penalty, Volume I.Peggy Kamuf (ed.) - 2013 - University of Chicago Press.
    In this newest installment in Chicago’s series of Jacques Derrida’s seminars, the renowned philosopher attempts one of his most ambitious goals: the first truly philosophical argument against the death penalty. While much has been written against the death penalty, Derrida contends that Western philosophy is massively, if not always overtly, complicit with a logic in which a sovereign state has the right to take a life. Haunted by this notion, he turns to the key places where such logic has been (...)
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  42. Physician Participation in Executions, the Morality of Capital Punishment, and the Practical Implications of Their Relationship.Paul Litton - 2013 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 41 (1):333-352.
    Over the past several years, the most widely publicized issue in capital litigation has been the constitutional status of states’ lethal injection protocols. Death row inmates have not challenged the constitutionality of lethal injection itself, but rather execution protocols and their potential for maladministration. The inmates’ concern is due to the three-drug protocol used in the vast majority of capital jurisdictions: if the anesthetic, which is administered first, is ineffectively delivered, then the second and third drugs — the paralytic and (...)
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  43. A Retributive Critique of Racial Bias and Arbitrariness in Capital Punishment.Oscar Londono - 2013 - Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (1):95-105.
  44. “Sociology, I'd Like You to Meet Capital Punishment”.David McCord - 2013 - Criminal Justice Ethics 32 (1):51-66.
    The American death penalty is peculiar insofar as it is the only capital punishment system still in use in the West. It is peculiar insofar as the forms through which it is now enacted seem ambivalent and poorly adapted to the stated purposes of criminal justice. And it is peculiar insofar as it seems, somehow, to be connected to the South's ?peculiar institution? of slavery and its legacy of racial violence, though the precise relationship is by no means clear. ? (...)
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  45. Can I Get a Witness From the Population?!Jordan S. Rubin - 2013 - Binghamton Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):87-104.
    Successful implementation of the death penalty requires the govern­ment to kill its citizens. Not surprisingly, this practice is controver­sial. One of the most polarizing aspects of capital punishment is what some people—proponents and opponents of the penalty alike—see as its ultimate, definitive nature. However, in this article, I analyze a feature of the death penalty that citizens of all political stripes take for granted: the afterlife. First, I attempt to establish the afterlife’s perti­nence to the death penalty. Second, I find (...)
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  46. What, If Anything, Makes the Death Penalty Unjustified?Bruce B. Suttle - 2013 - Think 12 (35):77-82.
    Preface: Of course it is recognized that miscarriages of justice do occur, innocent people are wrongly punished, even executed. This can never be excused or justified. Never. But this is not the issue here. Rather, I am positing, for the sake of the inquiry, that the punishment imposed pertains to only those who are truly guilty of their crimes.
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  47. Punishment.Thom Brooks - 2012 - Routledge.
    Punishment is a topic of increasing importance for citizens and policy makers. Why should we punish criminals? Which theory of punishment is most compelling? Is the death penalty ever justified? These questions and many others are addressed in this highly engaging guide. Punishment is a critical introduction to the philosophy of punishment offering a new and refreshing approach that will benefit readers of all backgrounds and interests. This is the first critical guide to examine all leading contemporary theories of punishment, (...)
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  48. Should Japan Abolish the Death Penalty? No Definite Answer Exists Yet.Sakiko Maki & Atsushi Asai - 2012 - Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 22 (1):27-32.
    How should the Japanese death penalty system stand in the future? While banning the death penalty has become a global trend, Japanese public opinion still supports it, and the government continues to strongly insist retention of the system. Despite worldwide criticism towards Japanese opinion, until very recently have been no reductions in death penalty sentences or executions. Both abolitionist and retentionist countries have strong arguments to support their opinions, thus there is no decisive argument that overwhelmingly refutes others. Consideration for (...)
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  49. Justice With Mercy.Bradley Wilson - 2012 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (1):119-135.
    Crimes such as the mass murder recently committed in Norway provoke the strongest calls for the death penalty. Among ethicists, the morality of capital punishment typically is discussed in terms of whether or not capital punishment can be morally justified, i.e., the question is whether or not capital punishment is ever permissible. However, neither the morality nor immorality of capital punishment has been decisively demonstrated. My argument assumes that capital punishment is permissible in at least some circumstances. I argue that, (...)
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  50. The Absence of Cruelty is Not the Presence of Humanness: Physicians and the Death Penalty in the United States.Joel B. Zivot - 2012 - Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 7:13-.
    The death penalty by lethal injection is a legal punishment in the United States. Sodium Thiopental, once used in the death penalty cocktail, is no longer available for use in the United States as a consequence of this association. Anesthesiologists possess knowledge of Sodium Thiopental and possible chemical alternatives. Further, lethal injection has the look and feel of a medical act thereby encouraging physician participation and comment. Concern has been raised that the death penalty by lethal injection, is cruel. Physicians (...)
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