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Capital Punishment

1. There is no compatibility of executions with the evolving decency standards as the protestors think because even the term used to describe the punishment is already indecent “cruel and unusual punishment”. Justice Brennan adds by arguing that this clause has to show a meaning from standards that are evolving of decency which marks the progress of society maturity. He further explains that death penalty has acutely stirred public controversy since the beginning of their nation. Moreover, Furman states that penalty of death is inacceptable constitutionally by Mr. Justice Marshall stating two premises. First: No clear information was given to citizens of America regarding the purposes of penalty of death and liabilities it comes with. Had they had exposure to this information, they would have definitely rejected it as unacceptable morally (Scalet & Arthur, 2012). Secondly, he says the death penalty is excessive. Marshall does not acknowledge enactment of death sentence for certain crimes like Congress enacting a law that provides penalty of death for air piracy that result to death.

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On a point of Justice Stewart in regard to the actions of state legislatures after the decision of Furman, response by Justice Marshall hinted that there is an insufficiency in justification of penalty of death in the statement (Scalet & Arthur, 2012). He goes ahead to quote Justice Brennan’s assertion that “no evidence is there that imprisonment utilization rather than death encourages other disorders and private blood feuds.” It is simply an expression of the idea that necessity of the penalty death is preventing American people from taking the law into their hands. Marshall concludes by saying death penalty is excessive, and the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments forbid it. He personally dissents respectfully by upholding the judgment of the Court the sentence of death against the petitioners in the cases as it is necessary to support deterrence goals or any further legitimate retribution notion.

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2. Regarding capital punishment, position taken by Martin Permutter is how severity of the crime should determine that of the punishment, as a natural retribution for the wrong that one has committed (Scalet & Arthur, 2012). Putting simply, if you commit a more serious crime, your penalty will be more severe. Furthermore, he states that “an eye for an eye” means that if you murdered someone you are also entitled to be murdered. Permutters even goes further to quote the Bible by saying that the punishment was introduced even in earlier societies and is included in the Biblical corpus of Laws (Exodus 21:23-25). Mode of punishments varies across different cultures. According to Permutters, mutilation should not be allowed to be done to a person; he says the punishment should be in accord with dignity of human. For instance, the claim of a murderer is to be treated in a way compatible with human dignity society standards. Pain and suffering are undesirable, but people cannot claim their punishment rights. The right of punishment then is derivative on the treatment rights as a person. A victim has to be treated in a way a therapy model does, this means one has to treat this illness the way cancer is treated.

 

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My assessment on Martin Pulmutter’s position is that he has shown clear picture on how these murder victims must be dealt with. He has really considered human rights and dignity and explained every point clearly. Martin neither concurs with nor refutes capital punishment from his position. As per my assessment, it is exactly what the Court of Justice should consider while performing its duties as the treatment was human and acceptable for everybody (Perlmutter, 1992).

3. Response of Van den Haag to those who would reject capital punishment as they feel it falls disproportionately on the poor and minorities is through the five points to those who rejects capital punishment with the first one being Incidental Issues. These include brutalization, cost and other relative suffering. Van den Haag argues that people believe that the monetary cost of appealing a death sentence is excessive (Scalet & Arthur, 2012). The death row victim cannot be known to be more than his victim suffered. By a murderer being killed, legitimization and endorsement of unlawful killings is encouraged. The second point is deterrence, though deterrence is altogether not decisive, he claims that he would favor the death penalty retention as retribution even if it was that the execution threat could not deter murders that are prospective not already deterred by the imprisonment threat. The third point is distribution. He asserts that misdistribution between the innocent and the guilty is unjust by definition, but in the nature of the punishment justice legitimate. Hence, all convicts suffer capital punishment regardless of their descent.

 

Degradation, Justice and Excess is the fourth point mentioned by Haag. He argues that though the penalty can be unwise, those punished can be pitiable and inappropriate or repulsive, in some sense legal punishment infliction on the convicts cannot be unjust as by him committing the crime, he volunteered assumption of receiving the risk of a legal punishment that he could have not committed. The fifth point is Justice miscarriages which might occur even in the largest cases.

To those who reject capital punishment for it leads to executions of the innocent, Haag responds by giving an example of a recent survey by Hugo and Michael where they found out that miscarriage of justice may occur even in massive cases. (Van den Haag, 1986)

 

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4. Though Bedau rejects arguments by abolitionists on capital punishment, his arguments favor the same (Scalet & Arthur, 2012). Firstly, he argues that death penalty mandate for the culprits accused of killing another person would require distinct abolishment between the first and second order degree murder and between manslaughter and murder and also requires abolishment of executive discretion in massive, judicial and prosecutorial cases. Secondly he is in favor of abolitionists points on capital punishment. The first being the right to life, he argues that the notion has the benefit of sidelining questions that are empirical of the sort which arise due to appeal to human life value. Bedau also agrees with abolitionists’ point of view on General Social Utility which states that whether we are utilitarian’s or not all of us agree that some enforceable rule for deliberately prohibition of killing people is necessary; we are in an agreement that unless justified or excused homicide is a crime. In an ideal society all citizens live without committing crimes and killing other citizens, government officials and their agents have unjustifiable and inexcusable homicide. Third, he coincides to the abolitionists who describe it as unusual and cruel punishment based the Eighth Amendment in the Bill of Rights which prohibits this kind of punishment. In addition, Human Rights Declaration which also forbids it as it is degrading, torture, inhuman and cruel punishment. Most of these abolitionists regard death penalty as violation of the above basic these principles. Last, but not least, Bedau favors abolition of penalty by concurring with some abolitionists who argues in terms of value of life. He also argues that murder is the gravest wrong and death is the greatest disvalue.

5. According to Reiman, failure to abolish capital punishment signifies a low level of civilization because suspects of torture and torturers, rapists or assaulters are beaten which is not right even if this is the only way to give them an equivalent of the pain the put their victims through (Scalet & Arthur, 2012).. He also argues that though someone can be fearless to life imprisonment more than death penalty, he cannot think of any death penalty act that would deter him from likelihood that is equal to spending life in prison. He concludes by recounting excessive cruelty the Roman slaves suffered through lashing. He asserts that injustice of royal tyranny and imperial slavery demands application of extreme force that sustains these institutions in place.

Hence, we take the amount of force a community uses on its own people as a measure that is inverse to its justice. Though seen as no more than a rough measure, it is still applicable when the community is limited in a degree of force it will definitely use against its subjects. There is also a likelihood of the society becoming more just as it will have to gain cooperation of its society by offering them more fair terms than it would have to if more force could have been used. Therefore, reduction of force by the society on the crime will make it more just.

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