Deterrence through Capital Punishment
This chapter first delineates the deterrence-oriented rationale for capital punishment, and defends it against some unwise objections. Thereafter, however, the chapter proceeds to assail the deterrence-oriented justification. Its critical remarks begin with some general reasons for doubting that the death penalty is indeed more effective in deterring people from committing serious crimes than are other severe sanctions. The chapter also highlights the inconclusiveness of the empirical studies that have purported to show the deterrent efficacy of the death penalty. Its main criticisms, however, are moral. It comprehensively criticizes the moral underpinnings of the deterrence-oriented rationale.
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