The Purgative Rationale for the Death Penalty: Replies to Steiker and Danaher

30 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2014

See all articles by Matthew H. Kramer

Matthew H. Kramer

University of Cambridge; University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 1, 2014

Abstract

Carol Steiker and John Danaher have recently published thought-provoking critiques of my 2011 book "The Ethics of Capital Punishment". In this paper I respond to the main points in their respective critiques. The paper goes beyond the book in two chief ways. First, it significantly expands on what the book has said about the role of everyone's self-respect in the purgative rationale for the death penalty. Second, in response to some of Danaher's remarks, the paper modifies the book's account of the wrongness of executing defendants who have become certifiably insane after being convicted of terrible crimes.

Keywords: capital punishment, death penalty, self-respect, insanity, criminal law, moral responsibility, defilement

JEL Classification: K4, K49

Suggested Citation

Kramer, Matthew H., The Purgative Rationale for the Death Penalty: Replies to Steiker and Danaher (December 1, 2014). University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 68/2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2539134 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2539134

Matthew H. Kramer (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge ( email )

Trinity Ln
Cambridge, CB2 1TN
United Kingdom
44-1223-336231 (Phone)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

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