The ethical dilemma of the death penalty has sparked much controversy amongst Americans. The punishment has been deemed unethical by some while others support it. Individuals who are charged with offenses that are deemed by the government and the society as evil and beyond redemption like murder are likely to face capital punishment. It has ignited a controversial debate amongst many political ideologies, religions, and cultures. This paper assesses the ethical issues concerning the death penalty from the views of Jonathan Wolf, as well as modern principles. The question I seek to explore is quite controversial: Is the death penalty ethical? My answer to this question will be per Jonathan Wolf’s “Readings in Moral Philosophy” and Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative. I intend to prove that capital punishment is ethical.
Immanuel Kant’s categorical aligns with the general rule general rule applied is complicated and presents various ways of imposing the death penalty. Based on the categorical imperative, the society and governments have the mandate to formulate and act per the universal law (Kant, 2004). According to Kant, the law should not be implemented for the sake of impressing society since everyone is innocent until proven guilty before the court of law. He argues that Laws that are broken without punishment are flimsy and an indication of a weaker society (Kant, 2004). From the moral point of view, Wolf argues that the problem associated with the death penalty is the burden of proof that everyone on the death row is indeed guilty of the offense punishable by death. He argues that capital punishment is misleading the society. In conclusion, the debate on the ethical nature of the death penalty remains controversial universally.
Jonathan, Wolff. Readings in Moral philosophy: A text with readings. W. W. Norton & Company, 2017.
Kant, I. The Right of Punishing, 2004. http://w1.155.telia.com/~u15525046/ny_sida_9.htm