Ethical Issues in Capital Punishment
Capital punishment is one of the basic issues in applied ethics. As a concept which bothers much on justice, it is also a critical issue in legal philosophy wherein it is examined under the umbrella of ‘corrective justice’. Although virtually every known human society has practised it at one time or the other in the course of its existence, its usefulness and effectiveness as an instrument for corrective justice is increasingly coming under serious attacks in this modern time. Capital punishment has generated debates which have raged on for over four hundred years. That capital punishment has been abolished in most of the industrialized countries of the world is a development that calls for sober reflection. The purpose of this work, therefore, is to examine some ethical issues involved in capital punishment, with a view to determining whether its continued practice can ever be justified in this modern time and, if so, under what circumstances. It also examines critically, the various points and arguments adduced by the existing schools of thought in defence of their respective positions.
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