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Death Penalty

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by

Joseph Baca

on 9 December 2014

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Transcript of Death Penalty

Morality
"It [capital punishment] is immoral in principle, and unfair and discriminatory in practice... No one deserves to die. When the government metes out vengeance disguised as justice, it becomes complicit with killers in devaluing human life and human dignity. In civilized society, we reject the principle of literally doing to criminals what they do to their victims: The penalty for rape cannot be rape, or for arson, the burning down of the arsonist's house. We should not, therefore, punish the murderer with death... Capital punishment is a barbaric remnant of uncivilized society."-The American Civil Liberties Union
Racism
"Despite the fact that African Americans make up only 13 percent of the nation’s population, almost 50 percent of those currently on the federal death row are African American. And even though only three people have been executed under the federal death penalty in the modern era, two of them have been racial minorities. Furthermore, all six of the next scheduled executions are African Americans. The U.S. Department of Justice’s own figures reveal that between 2001 and 2006, 48 percent of defendants in federal cases in which the death penalty was sought were African Americans… the biggest argument against the death penalty is that it is handed out in a biased, racially disparate manner."-National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Vengance
"It [capital punishment] is immoral in principle, and unfair and discriminatory in practice... No one deserves to die. When the government metes out vengeance disguised as justice, it becomes complicit with killers in devaluing human life and human dignity. In civilized society, we reject the principle of literally doing to criminals what they do to their victims: The penalty for rape cannot be rape, or for arson, the burning down of the arsonist's house. We should not, therefore, punish the murderer with death... Capital punishment is a barbaric remnant of uncivilized society."-The American Civil Liberties Union
Morality
"Ultimately, the moral question surrounding capital punishment in America has less to do with whether those convicted of violent crime deserve to die than with whether state and federal governments deserve to kill those whom it has imprisoned."-Bryan Stevenson
Constitutional
"[F]ar from supporting the position advocated by death penalty opponents, the Fifth Amendment can be read as evidence that the Founders inherently supported the death penalty... If a person can never be deprived of life by the state, why is the clause 'without due process of law' necessary?... By including a phrase that allowed for the possibility that citizens might be denied their life, liberty, or property if certain procedural safeguards were in place--'due process'--they implied that individual life might be taken by the state under the right circumstances."-William D. Richardson
Retribution
"Society is justly ordered when each person receives what is due to him. Crime disturbs this just order, for the criminal takes from people their lives, peace, liberties, and worldly goods in order to give himself undeserved benefits. Deserved punishment protects society morally by restoring this just order, making the wrongdoer pay a price equivalent to the harm he has done. This is retribution, not to be confused with revenge, which is guided by a different motive. In retribution the spur is the virtue of indignation, which answers injury with injury for public good... Retribution is the primary purpose of just punishment as such... [R]ehabilitation, protection, and deterrence have a lesser status in punishment than retribution."-J. Budziszewski
Pro
Anti
Rehabilitation
Death Penalty
THANK YOU!
by Joseph Baca
Full transcript