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Against Capital Punishment

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2020.04.02 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Benjamin S. Yost, Against Capital Punishment, Oxford University Press, 2019, 280pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780190901165. Reviewed by Jeffrey W. Howard, University College London Benjamin S. Yost has written a meticulously researched and tightly argued treatment of the morality of execution. The standard argument for abolishing the death penalty holds that even when moral agents have culpably perpetrated heinous wrongs, executing them is an unacceptable attack on their dignity, something that even they do not deserve to suffer. Yost is unconvinced by this strategy, which entails, implausibly, that we would wrong the likes of Hitler and Pol Pot by subjecting them to capital sentences. Instead Yost seeks to put the argument for abolition on more secure footing. On his view, what makes execution wrong is, first, the fact that it is irrevocable. While prisoners discovered to be innocent can be freed and compensated, we cannot resurrect the... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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