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Capital punishment utilitarian ethics point of view

Utilitarian Argument on Capital Punishment Introduction Capital punishment is a form of punishment in the legal justice system that entail deliberate actions directed towards taking the life of a person found guilty of a capital offense The Guardian, 2011. In the United States, capital offenses include; first degree murder, treason, espionage, and murder during a robbery among others.

The United States is one of the countries where capital punishment is still a popular form of punishment. It is estimated that a total of 504 people were sentenced to death between 2007 and 2009.

Out of the 504 people that were handed the death sentence, 220 were executed The Guardian, 2011. China is the leading country in the world when it comes to capital punishment. It is estimated that China executed 5000 people in 2009.

Various ethical arguments have been advanced for and against the capital punishment. Utilitarian is one the ethical perspective that supports the death sentence. This discusses how the utilitarian ethical perspective supports the capital punishment. However, ethic is an extremely elusive concept. It is difficult to determine the basis for classifying whether an action or a given practice is right or wrong. Various theories have been generated to provide the basis for classifying the moral position of given actions or behaviors.

One of these theories is the utilitarian theory. Utilitarian ethics judges the morality of an action or a given practice based on the outcome of the action on the society Stanford Encyclopedia, 2009.

Utilitarian ethics suggest the an action that present the most benefits to the society is right,and one the present more harm than good is wrong. The morality of action is understood based on the consequences only. This ethical principle is also known as consequential ethics.

Thus, actions that translate to benefits to a large number of people are considered to be morally right even though a few people may suffer from these actions. According to utilitarian ethic, an ethical act is one that contributes to a greater balance of happiness. Utilitarian Arguments on Capital Punishment The most common utilitarian argument that has been used in support of capital punishment is that it prevents crime for being repeated thus improving the safety and security of the general public.

Capital offenses have serious implication on society. Murder causes loss of life, grief, economic disruption in a family and loss to the general economy. Statistics have revealed the cyclic nature of the crime environment. People who commit a crime for the first time are likely to commit the same crime in the future. Thus, people who commit murder are likely to commit other murders in the future if their actions are not controlled.

Capital purnishment helps to keep the society safe by ensuring the people with such undesirable behaviors are eliminated from society. Though the capital punishment lead to loss of life of the offender and grief to his family, it presents benefit to a large number capital punishment utilitarian ethics point of view people who are protected from murder.

Capital punishment also deters would-be offenders from committing a capital offense. Opponents of capital punishment argue that the utilitarian goal described in the previous paragraph can be achieved through life imprisonment rather than the use of capital punishment. However, capital punishment presents another benefit to society besides preventing the repeat of crime.

Capital punishment deters people from committing crime. Behaviorist psychologists have found out that human behaviors can be influenced through a set of reward and punishment.

Punishment deters individuals from pursuing the act associated with the punishment while a reward encourages an individual to pursue the action associated with the reward. The severity of punishment has a greater impact in deterring an individual from pursuing the action associated with the punishment. When it comes to crime, individuals are least likely to commit a given crime when this crime is associated with a severe punishment.

Thus, the death penalty provides benefit to the society by deterring a significant portion of the population from committing capital crimes. Though a few people have to be executed in order to acquire the deterrence effect, a large number of people are able to enjoy safety and security.

Capital punishment also reduces the cost of incarceration. Similarly, the argument by the opponents of capital punishment that the utilitarian goal can be realized through life imprisonment is water down by the fact that life imprisonment has significant financial implication on society. Life imprisonment means that the government has to build high security prison, hire more guards and meet the cost of providing capital offenders with their basic needs.

This cost will increase drastically if the system is compelled to accommodate capital offenders. Capital punishment also helps to provide closure to crime victims and restore harmony in society.

Restoration is one of the most significant objectives of the criminal justice system Merideth, 2009. Capital crime disrupts the harmony that previously existed in a given society. A murder leaves members of the family in pain and with a sense of injustice. It also leaves the members of the community with anger and a sense of injustice.

Victims of crime and the community members expect the perpetrator of crime to receive punishment of equal magnitude as the crime committed.

A light punishment will not distort the feeling of anger and pain among the victims of crime. Societies without sound justice systems experience high levels of lawlessness because victims of crime take justice into their hands. Some crime victims seek to avenge the death of a loved one by hurting the perpetrator or his family. Such action elicits counter actions from the recipients leading to a chain of violence and disorder.

In some case, light punishment elicits civil unrest and protest among members of the affected community. Zimmerman case is an excellent example of how the decision of the criminal justice system can disrupt harmony and order within a given society. In this case, a protest erupted after Zimmerman, who was accused of murdering Trayvon Martin, was acquitted of the crime Nagourney, 2013. In the utilitarian perspective, the best decision would have been to give Zimmerman a guilty verdict. Though this verdict would have resulted in a negative consequence for one man, it would have present positive consequence for many people.

Capital punishment enables a given community to avoid such a scenario by providing victims of crime with a sense of justice. Victims of capital offenses found it easy to move capital punishment utilitarian ethics point of view when they feel that the perpetrator of the crime has received a deserving punishment. Conclusion Capital punishment is still a popular practice in many countries despite strong opposition from various quotas.

Whether this form of punishment is ethical still remain a contentious subject. Several ethical theories have been used to support or oppose the existence of capital punishment.

The utilitarian ethics is one of the theories that have been used in the capital punishment debates. Utilitarian ethics judges the morality of an action based on its consequences to society. Any action that presents more benefits than costs to the society is considered as righteous. Based on this argument,utilitarian ethic tends to support capital punishment.

Capital punishment

Capital punishment maximizes benefits to society by ensuring that crime are not repeated, deterring crime, reducing the cost of incarceration, and restoring peace and harmony in the society. References The Guardian 2011.

Death Penalty Statistics, Country by Country. The High Budgetary Cost of Incarceration. Restoring a Focus on Victims in Criminal Justice. The History of Utilitarian. If you would like help in essays, research papers, term papers and dissertations, you can visit MeldaResearch. Com Last modified on Wednesday, 07 February 2018 09: