International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Death Penalty Debate: a Look at the Main Arguments
Robert G. Lantin, PhD

As the title suggests, the goal of this short article is to introduce readers to the main arguments and lines of reasoning used by both sides in the ongoing debate over capital punishment. I begin by briefly looking at current statistics pertaining to the global distribution of capital punishment, with a particular focus on Taiwan. I then address the debate by considering six arguments, namely, (i) the argument from ‘retribution’; (ii) the argument from ‘deterrence’; (iii) the argument from ‘miscarriage of justice’; (iv) the argument from ‘recidivism’; (v) the argument from ‘incapacitation’; and (vi) the argument from ‘brutalization’. As presented here, the article aims at helping readers reach their own conclusion in the debate, and as such, neither ‘pro’ nor ‘con’ position is clearly favored. Instead, a context is provided whereby each side’s rationale can be seen at work. The article closes with a number of general, thought-provoking questions.

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