Capital Punishment Quotes (47 quotes)
In an opinion written by Justice Richard N. When the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the death penalty is unconstitutional in the state, it reckoned squarely with the kind of questions that citizens often ask and that legal cases seldom answer: Is capital punishment moral? Is it necessary? Palmer , a moderate liberal who has been on the court for twenty-two years, wrote the opinion. But the clarity, thoroughness, and persuasiveness of the majority opinion indicate that this landmark decision will likely be remembered not for the divisions among the Justices but for where the majority came out. The ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in the Goodridge case is a fair comparison: it is remembered not as a 4—3 decision, but as the first by an American court to legalize same-sex marriage. Secularization, evolving moral standards, new constitutional and procedural protections, and the availability of incarceration as a viable alternative to execution have resulted in capital punishment being available for far fewer crimes and criminals, and being imposed far less frequently, with a concomitant deterioration in public acceptance.
Ethical Rights. Capital punishment has recently become an increased focus of international attention and debate. From an ethical perspective, many of the arguments for and against the death penalty are missing a consideration of key issues. Criminologists consider that the major reasons for criminal penalties are rehabilitation reforming the prisoner to be a better citizen , incapacitation preventing the prisoner from committing other crimes , deterrence discouraging the prisoner and others from further crime and retribution society punishing the prisoner as vengeance for a criminal act. Rehabilitation and incapacitation can be achieved through appropriately lengthy jail sentences. The only reasons that could possibly be offered in support of a death penalty are deterrence and retribution. However, the large majority of experts consider that there is no credible scientific evidence supporting the contention that the death penalty deters criminal behaviour.
British Broadcasting Corporation Home. The question as to whether or not it is morally acceptable for the state to execute people, and if so under what circumstances, has been debated for centuries. The ethical problems involved include the general moral issues of punishment with the added problem of whether it is ever morally right to deprive a human being of life. Search term:. Read more. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets CSS enabled.
Punitive executions also have been and continue to be carried out more informally, such as by terrorist groups, urban gangs, or mobs. But for centuries in Europe and America, discussions have focused on capital punishment as an institutionalized, rule-governed practice of modern states and legal systems governing serious criminal conduct and procedures.
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The execution, by hanging, of Yakub Memon for his part in the Mumbai bombings invites us to revisit the vexed issue of capital punishment. Few topics incite such moral passion and controversy. While many European countries urge an ethic of rehabilitation in their criminal justice systems, many jurisdictions in the United States stand firmly in favour of capital punishment for serious crimes. Even a federal jury in Massachusetts, a liberal bastion, recently doled out the death penalty to the sole surviving perpetrator of the Boston marathon bombing. And while the United Kingdom abandoned the death penalty in — the year of the last executions — nearly half of the British public favours a reintroduction of it though that figure has been dropping steadily. We will not make progress in the public debate about the death penalty unless we realise that it is only one element in a much bigger controversy: about the point of punishment itself.