The Purgative Rationale for the Death Penalty: Replies to Steiker and Danaher
30 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2014
Date Written: December 1, 2014
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: Suggested Citation