ethics retribution and punishment kant vs utilitarianism punishment in our own society

Answer the questions below with the scenario;

No plagiarism. In your on words, This is text your understanding.

Shortly after 9 a.m. on April 19, 1995, a fireball ripped through the plate-glass doors of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, collapsing all nine floors on the north side. One hundred sixty-eight people were killed, and 850 were injured by the explosion.

Patrolman Charlie Hanger was outside of town patrolling for speeders when he heard about the explosion on his police radio. About 10:34 a.m. Hanger stopped a car for having no license plates. When he approached the driver, Hanger noticed a semiautomatic pistol poking out of the driver’s shoulder strap. Hanger arrested the driver for driving an unregistered car and carrying an unregistered handgun and took him to the Noble County Jail.

The driver, as it turned out, was 27 yr. old Timothy McVeigh. In June 1997, McVeigh was found guilty of murder and conspiracy and sentenced to death for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.

  1. In 1976 the U.S. Supreme Court in Gregg v. Georgia reversed an earlier ruling that declared capital punishment unconstitutional because it was “cruel and unusual punishment”. The 1976 ruling stated: that “capital punishment may be the appropriate sanction in extreme cases is an expression of the communities’ belief that certain crimes are themselves so grievous an affront to humanity that the only adequate response may be the penalty of death.” Do you agree with the Gregg v. Georgia ruling to reinstate the death penalty?
  2. In his Philosophy of Law, Kant wrote: “The Penal Law is a Categorical Imperative; and woe to him who creeps through the serpent-windings of Utilitarianism to discover some advantage that may discharge him from the Justice of Punishment…For if Justice and Righteousness perish, human life would no longer have any value in the world…Whoever has committed murder must die.” Do you agree with Kant? Is punishment—whether imprisonment or capital punishment—consistent with the categorical imperative?
  3. Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, argues that capital punishment is inconsistent with the intrinsic value of human life. “Nobody,” she writes, “is disposable human waste…Despite their terrible crimes, murderers are human beings and deserve to be treated with dignity.”[1] Do you agree? Does morality require that people like McVeigh who treat others as “disposable human waste” be treated with dignity?
  4. Mindful of how much hurt would be opened up by the victim testimonies, Judge Richard P. Matsch cautioned the jurors that “we are not here to seek revenge on T. McVeigh.” What did Matsch mean by this? What is the difference between revenge and retribution?
  5. French existentialist Albert Camus claimed that there is a moral contradiction in a policy, such as capital punishment, that imitates the violence it is claiming to hate. Do you agree with Camus? Why or why not?
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