Why Abolish the Death Penalty? Arguments from Madisonian Thought
(2012) 29 Amicus ALJ 43
4 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2014
Date Written: December 1, 2012
The aim of this article is to make a contribution to the debate over the abolition of the death penalty by providing arguments against the capital punishment based on Democracy and Madisonian political thought. It will argue that, as a matter of principle, death penalties collide with the substance of Madison’s understanding on democratic rule. According to the Madisonian principle, the majority’s will shall prevail, but at the same time, the minority shall be respected. Hence, the majority cannot pass legislation which imposes the death penalty for the simple reason that such legislation eliminates in toto the minority that chooses to disobey the law.
Keywords: death penalty, capital punishment, Madison, democratic rule
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