Why should we have BOTH life sentences and the death penalty?
By definition, a life sentence without parole takes away people's free lives. Upon entry into the system, they are now a permanent financial burden on the state, and there is no possibility that any reform improves their life on the outside, because they are never going outside again. Isn't it, in a system with capital punishment financially gainful, saving in both maintainance and facilities, and ethically equal to kill a man outright as opposed to containing him until you cause his death?
Is it better to have a criminal justice system that runs the risk of, in every 100 people being acquitted, that 1 will go on to commit a terrible future crime; or one that runs the risk of, in every 100 people being convicted, there being 1 who was innocent?
Sorry about the tortured phrasing of my question...
This is a follow-up to question 348. Matthew Silverstein argues that "There is at least one good consequentialist reason for punishing attempted murder less severely than murder. If the two crimes are punished equally, then the law will not deter someone who has tried and failed to murder from trying again!"
I guess this is plainly wrong. If someone tries twice she should be punished for two crimes, and the global penalty will be higher (perhaps two times higher). I can't see the difference between that case and the cases where someone commits two (accomplished) crimes of the same type against the same person (or, for that matter, against two different persons).
Is the sentence of death really a punishment? Yes, the man/woman who committed the act loses their life, but doesn't it also mean that the person in the end gets away with the act that he/she committed? Wouldn't it make more sense to punish this person with life in prison without the possibility of parole? It just seems to me that the death sentence is just a way to show sympathy or mercy towards criminals. It seems that this would be a harsher punishment; just sitting in your cell day by day, for the rest of the person's life.
Why we punish a person who doesn't wear the safety belt or hat when driving a car or a motorcycle? Is s/he impose any harm to other people but him/herself?
Along with the same chain of arguments, there are some people who think that drug abuse should be a legal choice for those who want it; they don't impose any harm to nobody else themselves. Why is it wrong? or right?
If someone has already been mistakenly punished for a crime they have not committed, are they then allowed to go and commit that crime (without punishment)?
For example, supposing person A is charged with the murder of B but wrongly so as B was still alive. Does A then have the right, once he's finished his sentence in jail, to go and kill B? He has already been punished for it so you can't punish him twice for the same act!!
Shouldn't the punishment for attempted murder be as severe as the punishment for murder no matter your ethical scheme? If your ethical scheme is based on universal moral principles (deontological?), then surely whatever is inherently bad about firing a gun at someone with the intent of ending their life is present whether or not you have good aim. And if you are a utilitarian, then it would seem equally risky to the populace to release a person who has expressed a tendency to try and kill people back on the streets.