Summary Kaveny The Death Penalty Is Unjust

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The Death Penalty Is Unjust “Justice or vengeance: is the death penalty cruel and unusual?” by Cathleen Kaveny is about capital punishment being exactly that, cruel and unusual. Kaveny makes valid points in her article about the death penalty being unfair and morally wrong. She makes some very good points about retributive justice being the main goal of punishment but sometimes vengeance can take control and justice is thrown out the window. Times have changed and our moral standards are higher. We no longer live in the days where pain is a punishment so why should death still be a punishment? (Kaveny 9) Her title accurately depicts what she will be discussing, however, her introduction left me wondering which side she stands on. Her first paragraph merlly asks the question, “ Why should a…show more content…
“Harsh punishment can function as an effective deterrent” (Kaveny 9). One of the main points in Kaveny’s article is that the criminal should not be punished in a way that is meant to deter others, but should fit the crime committed. “From the not-so-disinterested perspective of the victims and those who love them, a cruel-and-unusual punishment for a crime can easily seem quite fitting” (Kaveny 9). This statement is especially important in conveying how being emotionally involved can make vengeance and justice become blurred. A woman was convicted of murder even though she was not present at the murder. Ms Gissendaner’s boyfriend killed her husband, though he was offered parole if he would testify against Ms Gissendaner. When it came time for her execution, “fellow inmates pleaded for clemency, as did the Vatican and Ms Gissendaner’s children, though her husband’s parents wanted her to be executed” (“Cruel” 27). When it come down to it, the death penalty is more a means of giving the victim’s loved ones vengeance rather than serving justice. (“Cruel”

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