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

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
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11572-013-9202-4
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,066
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

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.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Retributivist Arguments Against Capital Punishment.Thom Brooks - 2004 - Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (2):188–197.
Desert, Justice and Capital Punishment.Patrick Lenta & Douglas Farland - 2008 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 2 (3):273-290.
The Irrevocability of Capital Punishment.Benjamin S. Yost - 2011 - Journal of Social Philosophy 42 (3):321-340.
Retribution, the Death Penalty, and the Limits of Human Judgment.Anthony P. Roark - 1999 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 13 (1):57-68.
Derrida: Opposing Death Penalties.Marguerite La Caze - 2009 - Derrida Today 2 (2):186-199.
Kant on Capital Punishment and Suicide.Attila Ataner - 2006 - Kant-Studien 97 (4):452-482.
Locke on the Death Penalty.A. John Simmons - 1994 - Philosophy 69 (270):471-.
Punishment as Penalty.Suzanne Uniacke - 2015 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 9 (1):37-47.
Child Rape, Moral Outrage, and the Death Penalty.Susan A. Bandes - 2008 - Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy 103.


Added to PP index

Total views
70 ( #162,485 of 2,498,786 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #421,542 of 2,498,786 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes