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The Ethics of Capital PunishmentA Philosophical Investigation of Evil and its Consequences$
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Matthew H. Kramer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199642182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199642182.001.0001

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Death as Incapacitation

Death as Incapacitation

(p.137) 4 Death as Incapacitation
The Ethics of Capital Punishment

Matthew H. Kramer

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the incapacitative justification of capital punishment. The central idea in that rationale is that thugs who are strongly disposed to engage in savage murders are too dangerous to be kept alive. Given the strongly consequentialist character of the incapacitative line of thought, it suffers from many of the same weaknesses which afflict other consequentialist approaches to the death penalty. Like retributivism, moreover, the incapacitative approach runs afoul of the Minimal Invasion Principle.

Keywords:   incapacitation, consequentialism, punishment, Minimal Invasion Principle, savage murders

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