LS 490-01 Assignment The death Penalty Debate: Retribution
In this assignment, imagine that your state legislature is considering repealing its death penalty and the legislators wish to hear the opinions of the top legal philosophers on both sides of the death penalty debate – imagine yourself as a modern day Jeremy Bentham and present three utilitarian arguments against the death penalty and therefore in favor of its repeal. Then, step into the shoes of a modern day Immanuel Kant and present to the legislature three retributivist arguments in favor of the death penalty and therefore, in opposition to its repeal. For each side of the debate, present each argument in detail, using headings and subheadings to keep your paper well-organized so that it will serve as a useful resource for your state legislators to be able to clearly grasp the key arguments on both sides. Include at least two examples to illustrate the arguments on each side.
In addition, the state legislators would like to hear your assessment of which theory of punishment, utilitarian or retributivist, you find most persuasive. Compare the persuasiveness of the two theories and provide a recommendation of which theory the legislators should follow (utilitarian for repeal of the state’s death penalty or retributivist for retention of the state’s death penalty).