This paper argues that capital punishment is not justice and no longer fulfills the moral goals of the maximum punishment within a society.
This paper explains that the issues of ethical conduct, such as retribution, economics and deterrence, surround the application of capital punishment. The author points out that the idea of retribution, based on the golden rule, with one act meriting an equal act of response, is widely used to support the death penalty. The paper states that factoring in the economic costs related to the death sentence can be ethically weighed with reference to Kant’s universal law.
Capital punishment has been in use for many years in America, with exception of 1972 to 1976 when it was deemed unconstitutional as cruel and unusual punishment. Over the years capital punishment has been in effect, the fundamentals have not progressed; it is still operating on the original theory in which it was implemented. Based on the historical trends, the current process will not be anymore or less effective at prevention in the future. This is partly due to punishment being a reactionary event, the penalty of death may contribute to the consistency of deviant society, but one would reason that without progression of the process it will not contribute to the evolution of society. As the penalty of death is deemed the maximum punishment possible, the opportunity for advancement exists in preemptive events based on direct and indirect knowledge acquired from the offenders.