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Is capital punishment morally required? : the relevance of life-life tradeoffs

Author: Cass R Sunstein; Adrian Vermeule; University of Chicago. Law School.
Publisher: [Chicago, Ill.] : Law School, the University of Chicago, [2005]
Series: Public law and legal theory working paper, no. 85.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Recent evidence suggests that capital punishment may have a significant deterrent effect, preventing as many eighteen or more murders for each execution. This evidence greatly unsettles moral objections to the death penalty, because it suggests that a refusal to impose that penalty condemns numerous innocent people to death. Capital punishment thus presents a life-life tradeoff, and a serious commitment to the  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Cass R Sunstein; Adrian Vermeule; University of Chicago. Law School.
OCLC Number: 124041494
Notes: Cover title.
"March 2005."
Title from homepage, University of Chicago Law School (viewed May 6, 2007).
Reproduction Notes: Electronic reproduction. Chicago, Ill. : Law School, University of Chicago, 2006. Available via the World Wide Web.
Description: 49 p.
Details: Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Series Title: Public law and legal theory working paper, no. 85.
Responsibility: Cass R. Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule.

Abstract:

"Recent evidence suggests that capital punishment may have a significant deterrent effect, preventing as many eighteen or more murders for each execution. This evidence greatly unsettles moral objections to the death penalty, because it suggests that a refusal to impose that penalty condemns numerous innocent people to death. Capital punishment thus presents a life-life tradeoff, and a serious commitment to the sanctity of human life may well compel, rather than forbid, that form of punishment. Moral objections to the death penalty frequently depend on a distinction between acts and omissions, but that distinction is misleading in this context, because government is a special kind of moral agent. The familiar problems with capital punishment - potential error, irreversibility, arbitrariness, and racial skew - do not argue in favor of abolition, because the world of homicide suffers from those same problems in even more acute form. The widespread failure to appreciate the life-life tradeoffs involved in capital punishment may depend on cognitive processes that fail to treat "statistical lives" with the seriousness that they deserve."

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Linked Data


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