With respect to the second point, there are some things too barbarous to be used no matter how beneficial they might prove to be as instruments of deterrence.
That is why the constitution bans cruel and unusual punishments.
But deterrence theories could allow executing the innocent: if executing an innocent person would prevent future murders and authorities could keep her innocence secret, the benefits would plausibly outweigh the costs and deterrence theories would support killing her., that in virtue of which persons are owed respect.
Actions that violate dignity, like torture, are widely condemned.
But when we consider that litigating capital cases is difficult and time-consuming, and poor defendants must rely on overworked public defenders, many of whom have no experience with capital trials, the consequences seem clear.
For harrowing stories of how bad lawyering leads to death sentences, see Bright (1994).With respect to the first point, deterrence can be accomplished in many different ways.No one is here suggesting that a life sentence in prison should be made an easy thing and it must surely be the case that anyone contemplating the destruction of another human being will be deterred by the prospect of spending the rest of his/her life behind bars.Davis argues that authorities can compensate a wrongly executed person by advancing her interests or values (1984).For example, the state could send her son to college or donate five million dollars to her favorite charity.At a later point in this term paper—-when the research paper argues that the death penalty is not administered fairly in the real world—-the student should have more to say about this.Here the student should attempt to argue that even if it could be shown that the deterrence effect actually occurs, that that does not, by itself alone, justify the death penalty.For detailed information on capital punishment by U. The purgative rationale applies only to extraordinarily evil offenders, not to garden-variety first-degree murderers (Kramer 2011).That is, it applies only to people like Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter, who in 2012 shot to death twenty six- and seven-year old students and six school staff. Pure deterrence theories can be contrasted with two-level theories.State and federal death rows are populated solely by murderers and accomplices to murder.Some states and the federal government permit execution for treason and other crimes, but these laws have never been tested in court.