Can/Should We Purge Evil Through Capital Punishment?
- 776 Downloads
Matthew Kramer’s The Ethics of Capital Punishment: A Philosophical Investigation of Evil and its Consequences explores the morality of capital punishment and develops his own “purgative rationale” in support of the practice. I present my objections to Kramer’s purgative rationale and trace our disagreement to differences over the nature of evil, the autonomy of human character formation, and the concept of defilement.
I thank Fionnuala Ní Aoláin and Jordan Steiker for helpful conversation and comments.
- Baze v. Rees, 553 U.S. 35 (2008).Google Scholar
- Camus, A. (1959). Reflections on the Guillotine. Trans. Richard Howard. Michigan City, Indiana: Fridtjof-Karla Publications.Google Scholar
- “Facing History and Ourselves,” http://www.facinghistory.org/.
- Gardner, J. (1989). Grendel. Vintage: New York. Google Scholar
- Goldberg, C. (1996). Speaking with the Devil: Exploring Senseless Acts of Evil. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
- Goldhagen, D.J. (1996). Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar
- Kadish, S., Schulhofer, S., Steiker, C., and Barkow, R. (2012). Criminal Law and Its Processes, Ninth Edition. New York: Wolters Kluwer.Google Scholar
- Lewis, M. and Lyall, S. “Norway Mass Killer Gets the Maximum: 21 years,” New York Times, Aug. 24, 2012.Google Scholar
- Maguire, G. (2004). Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
- Raine, A. (2013). The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
- Rhys, J. (1966). Wide Sargasso Sea. New York: Popular Library.Google Scholar
- Soering v. United Kingdom, 161 Eur. Ct. H.R. (ser. A) (1989).Google Scholar
- Steiker, C.S. (2011). “The Death Penalty and Deontology,” In J. Deigh and D. Dolinko, (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Criminal Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Steiker, C.S. and Steiker, J.M. (2010). Cost and Capital Punishment: A New Consideration Transforms an Old Debate, University of Chicago Legal Forum.Google Scholar
- Zimbardo, P. (2007). The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. New York: Random House.Google Scholar