Government Policy and Death: Death Penalty

Kowitz P4 redo2 .doc

“The Ultimate Punishment: A Defense”, Ernest Van Den Haag, Lewis Vaughn, Chapter 10 of Doing Ethics

Ernest Van Den Haag is of the opinion that the death penalty should be sustained regardless of the arguments against it. Van Den Haag believes that the immorality or morality of capital punishment does not lie in how it is handed out in the justice system, and scoffs at those that cry that it is unfair, because the death penalty deals with justice, not fairness. The only time that capital punishment can be considered truly immoral is when it is carried out on an innocent party, due to the fact that it is irrevocable; life cannot be given back after it has been taken (301). However, according to Van Den Haag, this is unrelated to the nature of the punishment, as in itself the death penalty is the best form of punishment to the guilty party.
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