Criminal Law and Philosophy

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 289–300

The Executive as Executioner and the Informed Governance Principle

Original Paper


An executive ought to be as informed as possible about the needs and preferences of her constituency and about the most important policy issues that her constituency confronts. This ethical duty, referred to as the “informed governance principle,” requires that an executive who is not opposed to the death penalty personally carry out at least one execution of a death row inmate. Having an executive act as executioner, even if just once, could also help citizens reflect upon their personal ethical commitments, spur them to monitor the government’s power, and prompt them to contemplate how best to distribute power so that the chance of injustice is minimized.


Capital punishment Death penalty Executioner Executive Informed governance principle 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.WashingtonUSA

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