please read the following article and answer the question.

For your next assignment, please read the following article: (Links to an external site.)

Answer the following questions, NOT by making superficial comments off the top of your head, but by thinking critically about the issues. For example, you are not allowed to claim that the death penalty has a deterrent value against future crimes unless you cite scientifically reliable statistics showing this to be true. You are not allowed to cherry-pick statistics that support your existing biases either. If you look for data, you must report what you find and try to assess its validity to the best of your ability, whether the results confirm or contradict your prior beliefs. This is an exercise in critical thinking. Superficial impressions not backed up by hard data are not acceptable as part of your answer.


Is it morally right to execute someone who was found guilty of a heinous crime? Answer by reference to an explicit moral principle, not just “I believe this, or I think this, or my opinion is”. For example, does the death penalty violate the Christian commandment “you shall not kill”? Feel free to refer to the sacred texts of any other religion or to secular morality, as you prefer.


Are the lives of any murder victims sunk costs by the time a convicted murderer is to be sentenced? If so, should the value of the victims’ lives be part of the cost-benefit calculation of imposing the death penalty on the murderer? For the death penalty to pass a cost-benefit test, what value must the life of the condemned be assumed to have? What are the benefits, if any, of the death penalty? Is a “sense of closure” for the victims’ relatives anything other than the desire for revenge? What is it worth? The article mentions that until the recent reversal, the courts in Florida were required to weigh mitigating evidence against the aggravating factors to decide whether to impose a sentence of life or death. Was this reasonable? Was the reversal of this rule reasonable? Think clearly. Just because someone else might arrive at a different tally of costs and benefits than you does not necessarily mean that they are not being reasonable.

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