What philosophers are against the death penalty?

Philosophic defenses of the death penalty, like that of Immanuel Kant, opposed reformers and others, who, like Beccaria, argued for abolition of capital punishment.

Which philosopher thought criminals should be executed?

Immanuel Kant, who believed that all murderers should be executed, called Beccaria’s arguments “sophistry.” Long after his death, Beccaria was even called a socialist for his apparently utopian views. There were many critics of Beccaria, but there were also many admirers.

Did Aristotle believe in capital punishment?

According to the theory from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, death penalty should not be permitted. However, if no one in society agrees with this rule, like in Canada, this rule would no longer be applied, and death penalty could be judged as legal and moral.

What does Plato say about punishment?

Plato’s conception of punishment is clearly radically forward-looking: the criminal is to be punished for the good of the whole of society. It is impossible to change the past.

Does virtue ethics support the death penalty?

Virtue ethics uses the motivation, the act itself, and the consequences to decide morality. I believe that virtue ethics would ultimately find capital punishment to be immoral. The motivations of capital punishment are punishment, retribution, and deterrence.

Does Plato support the death penalty?

Plato does not commit himself to the view that all forms of punishment benefits the criminal as he reasons that only just punishment has this effect. The death penalty is imposed for the worst offenders but in Plato’s opinion it is not considered to be an extreme penalty.

What are reasons against the death penalty?


  • Capital punishment is cruel and unusual.
  • Capital punishment denies due process of law.
  • The death penalty violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection.
  • The death penalty is not a viable form of crime control.
  • Capital punishment wastes limited resources.