Is Capital Punishment ethical ?

by yunis abdalla96 on November 14, 2014 - 5:41pm

            In 1983, Denise Stockin’s trial was held in the town of Stuart, Virginia. He was charged for murdering Kenny Arnder for money, he accepted from Tommy McBride. Mc Bride was supposedly angry at Arnder for tricking him on a drug deal and wanted Arnder dead to prove a message to everyone else. There was significant evidence to prove that Stockin killed Arnder. Moreover, Stockin confessed to killing another man in 1979.The jury found the defendant guilty and sentenced him to death because he was found to be a future danger to society. However, the important question in this case is if sentencing Denise Stockin to death for homicide is ethical? In order to answer this question we have to ask ourselves if capital punishment is ethical.


Web. 14 Nov. 2014. <>.


This is a very debated subject. i believe this is where the court systems comes into effective play. I think saying all murderers deserve capital punishment is not ethical. because what is defined as a murderer? if someone killed someone in self defense they should not be imprisoned at all if it can be prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they were justified in their means. this may be tricky tho because evidence may not always be so clear. in this case it is the jury and judges responsibility to decide their fate. To address the question of whether or not capital punishment is ethical I believe yes and no depending on the case. if someone murdered a child I firmly believe they should no longer be able to live. Something in my own town happened that leads me to believe capital punishment is ethical.
Last year on Christmas eve day ant around 9 in the morning there was a shooting in Webster NY. A man set fire to 3 houses which spread to more, and as they were burning he sat hidden across the street with a rifle and opened fire on the firemen and police officers as they arrived. for no reason what so ever this man wanted to kill as many firefighters and police officers as possible. This man did not deserve to live free of cost in a prison that family members of the decease pay for in their taxes to provide utilities and food. why should this man get to live when the young firefighters and police officers that he killed don't. there was no actual deliberation on whether or not to pursue capital punishment because the man killed himself before he could be arrested.

The morality of capital punishment is one of the most debated subjects in today's society. I tend to be very opinionated; however I am very divided when it comes to capital punishment. I think that in order for capital punishment to be acceptable, the crime committed has to be especially heinous, and the evidence against the individual has to be overwhelming. Because I believe that almost every individual has some good in them, I am generally against the use of capital punishment. I have learned that it is often the environment a person is raised in that most heavily impacts their likelihood to commit crimes. I like the idea of focusing on how to teach a criminal to become a functional member of society rather than focusing on punishment for something that already happened. However I also don't believe that they should be treated with too much sympathy. If someone committed a crime severe enough to make them a permanent threat, the focus should not be to rehabilitate them into society. Every individual has choices and they should be held responsible for their actions. Even so it seems to me that the death penalty is an easy way out, rather than making the person face life in prison.
My opinions on capital punishment have most likely been shaped by the area I grew up in. Because I live in a state that tends to be very liberal, the opinions of my peers have probably impacted my own opinion. If I grew up in Texas, my opinion might have become very different. In addition, my opinion has been impacted by my education. For example in my “Learning to Learn” class, we have learned about how a person’s race, parents, class, and surroundings when they are growing up all heavily impact their likelihood for success.
I liked how you used an example in your post to raise the question of whether capital punishment is ethical. In the future, you might want to try and present both sides of the argument to give the reader a better perspective of the issue.

I believe that death penalty is unethical because it inflicts unnecessary harm upon an individual and does not even deter the crime rate. Therefore, it creates more pain than pleasure either for the criminal himself or for the rest of the society. The philosopher Cesare Beccaria argues that punishment should be reinforce in order to reduce the crime rate in society, not only to punish the offender. In other words, it must create a collective benefit. Moreover, he bases his arguments upon the Social Contract theory and states that people have the right to life and that it does not depend upon the "public good". This information can be found on the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

In my opinion, the death penalty is unethical because it brings unnecessary suffering on the offender. Moreover, it has not been proven that the death penalty deters crime rate. This means that it will create more pain than pleasure for society or the offender. According to many researchers, the death penalty does not in fact deter murder, which means that happiness in society is not really increased. Moreover, apparently society has to pay higher taxes for executing a death penalty .There was “a recent study of California death penalty costs” that revealed “that state taxpayers have spent billions of dollars to execute 13 inmates since capital punishment was reinstated in 1978” (Hance et al. 1).In addition, the study claimed that “a death penalty prosecution costs up to 20 times as much as a life-without-parole case” (Hance et al. 1).

Hance, Bryan S., et al. "Death of the Death Penalty? an Examination of California's Capital Punishment System." Journal of Legal Issues and Cases in Business 2 (2013): 1-10. ProQuest. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.


The death penalty, or capital punishment in general is unethical due to the nature of the act itself. Causing death to any human is unethical, the point that people will want to make is the death of inmates will hopefully deter the amount of people who choose to do crime, but there are no significant statistics proving that it has done any of that since it was implemented around the world. If anything it is unethical because as a utilitarian or someone who believes in the purpose of utilitarianism, we as a group of individuals are spending more money for the funding of the death penalty then it is keeping the inmates in. Where are the results that crime is less and killing people is really worth it.? Here is a link with stats pertaining to the death penalty in the states, but its almost guaranteed that it is the same everywhere else it is implemented.

I believe capital punishment is not ethical, it is only teaching a wrong with another wrong and if we look at Kant's theory of universalizability this would only show everyone to punishment someone an eye for an eye when there are other ways to punish. Instead of using the death penalty for a murderer we should put them in jail for life without the possibility of parole. The chance of wrongful execution is something also to consider so many times there have been people who have been wrongfully accused of a crime they never committed. This source shows the theory of Kant. And has a lot of content as to how we should approach this matter.