Criminal Law and Philosophy 7 (2):367-382 (2013)

Abstract
This paper contributes to the normative debate over capital punishment by looking at whether the role of executioner is one in which it is possible and proper to take pride. The answer to the latter question turns on the kind of justification the agent can give for what she does in carrying out the role. So our inquiry concerns whether the justifications available to an executioner could provide him with the kind of justification necessary for him to take pride in what he does. If they cannot, I argue, this sheds some light on their adequacy as justifications. The main argument of the paper is that social control arguments for the death penalty fail to provide an adequate justification. I also give some consideration to retributive justifications. The argument is developed through close attention to the depiction of Albert Pierrepoint in the film, Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman
Keywords Death penalty  Pierrepoint  Social control  Retribution  Punishment
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DOI 10.1007/s11572-013-9202-4
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The Problem of Punishment.David Boonin - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.
Trials and Punishments.R. A. Duff - 1986 - Cambridge University Press.
Trials and Punishments.John Cottingham & R. A. Duff - 1987 - Philosophical Quarterly 37 (149):448.

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