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In this philosophical study of applied ethics the concept of punishment will be argued using philosophers such as Mill, Bentham and Kant

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Introduction

Capital Punishment -Synoptic In this philosophical study of applied ethics the concept of punishment will be argued using philosophers such as Mill, Bentham and Kant. And the case of John Martin Scripps 'The tourist from hell' will be used. The concept of capital punishment as a form of punishment brings about questions such as 'is there any crime so bad that it permits the state to kill? Does anyone deserve to die for his or her crime? Is the execution a sign that society has failed its responsibilities to all its citizens? There are three aims to punishment, Retribution, Reformation, and Deterrence. Modern thinking on punishment tends towards a combined view where none of the aims itself is sufficient to provide a comprehensive account. Retribution and Deterrence will be highlighted in detail. Retribution most clearly expresses what people instinctively feel is the basis of the punishment. The retributive arguments have a long and ancient history particularly in the west because of the support of Biblical and Church traditions. In the past, law codes of the Old Testament, Babylonian Hammurabi (1728-1686 BCE) and other ancient periods in times use a retributive argument. A lex talionis (the law of the tooth) is adopted in the Old Testament: "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." In other words, a grievance caused requires a satisfaction on the part of the victim to which he/she or society is entitled. Entitlement is for no other reason than those criminals are owed their just deserts. ...read more.

Middle

When arrested at Changi airport Scripps was carrying US$40,000 in cash and travellers cheques and the passports and credit cards and other belongings of Lowe and the Damudes. He also had a stun-device, handcuffs, and a can of mace as well as a hammer and knives. Swabs from the hammer matched bloodstains across the carpet of the Damudes' hotel room where the murder took place. The skulls, torsos and several limbs belonging to the bodies of the Damudes were found in a deserted tin mine on Phuket in March. The trail began in Singapore, evidence showed how Lowe's body was skilfully cut up and wrapped in plastic bags before being thrown away. Scripps was found that he was instructed over a six-week period in 1993, he was trained to bone out fore quarters and hind quarters of beef, sides of bacon and how to portion chicken, when he was serving a 13 year sentence for drug-related offences. A government pathologists testified that the only a doctor, veterinarian or a butcher could have dismembered the body in this manner. The prosecution alleged that Scripps using a false name checked into the same Singapore hotel room as Lowe and later killed him. Scripps then flew out to Phuket in Thailand and was arrested on his return to Singapore's Changi airport. When arrested Scripps had four different passports, each with different names and his photo, one of these passports belonged to Lowe and he also had the passports belonging to Canadians Sheila and Darin Dumude whose dismembered bodies were later found on Phuket island. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Kants' criticism according to the first formulation of the categorical imperative it is impossible to allow an innocent man to suffer, but the second imperative (practical imperative) states that people should never be used to a means to an end, and this would rule out all forms of punishment as deterrent. If in every case offenders would be treated as a means to an end and not as an end in themselves. This view ignores them as human lives and divests them of any intrinsic value or at any intrinsic value. Bentham however does argue that if the punished offender did not loose some of their dignity then there would be no deterrent effect on others. However the utility punishment does not give the means to estimate the amount of punishment, other then the minimum necessary to deter others. I think that the Retributive way is effective because it looks after the people who have had to go through a grievance because of the crime and the retributive way allows for a satisfaction to the victims. However, this way can be seen as now backwards because killing another human is wrong and this attitude is seen more in fashion. It can be seen that society is seen to blame for murders because the state is to look after its members. I think that the most effective way is reformative because it looks at how the offender can go back into the society as a useful member but however a punishment should be made and served to have a deterrent effect. Shyam Bhayani H305 Religious Studies ...read more.

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