Deterrence through Capital Punishment

Matthew H. Kramer

in The Ethics of Capital Punishment

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199642182
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732188 | DOI:
Deterrence through Capital Punishment

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This chapter first delineates the deterrence-oriented rationale for capital punishment, and defends it against some unwise objections. Thereafter, however, the chapter proceeds to assail the deterrence-oriented justification. Its critical remarks begin with some general reasons for doubting that the death penalty is indeed more effective in deterring people from committing serious crimes than are other severe sanctions. The chapter also highlights the inconclusiveness of the empirical studies that have purported to show the deterrent efficacy of the death penalty. Its main criticisms, however, are moral. It comprehensively criticizes the moral underpinnings of the deterrence-oriented rationale.

Keywords: deterrence; morality; serious crimes; inconclusiveness

Chapter.  25351 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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