Desert, Justice and Capital Punishment

Criminal Law and Philosophy 2 (3):273-290 (2008)

Abstract
Our purpose in this paper is to consider a procedural objection to the death penalty. According to this objection, even if the death penalty is deemed, substantively speaking, a morally acceptable punishment for at least some murderers, since only a small proportion of those guilty of aggravated murder are sentenced to death and executed, while the majority of murderers escape capital punishment as a result of arbitrariness and discrimination, capital punishment should be abolished. Our targets in this paper are two recent attempts, by Thomas Hurka and Michael Cholbi respectively, to defend the view that ‘levelling down’ (that is, reducing the punishment imposed on a criminal from the punishment he absolutely deserves to a less severe punishment in order to achieve proportionality relative to the criminals who have escaped the punishment they absolutely deserve) is, in the context of capital punishment, morally permissible. We argue that both Hurka and Cholbi fail to show why the arbitrariness and discrimination objection impugns the death penalty
Keywords Arbitrariness  Discrimination  Capital punishment  Desert  Justice  Levelling down
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11572-008-9045-6
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 47,122
External links

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

Utilitarianism.John Stuart Mill - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press.
The Concept of Law.Hla Hart - 1961 - Oxford University Press.
Utilitarianism.John Stuart Mill - 1863 - Cleveland: Cambridge University Press.
Race, Capital Punishment, and the Cost of Murder.M. Cholbi - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (2):255-282.
Noncomparative Justice.Joel Feinberg - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (3):297-338.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Structure of Death Penalty Arguments.Matt Stichter - 2014 - Res Publica 20 (2):129-143.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-08-10

Total views
156 ( #53,024 of 2,289,307 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #121,533 of 2,289,307 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature