Executing Insane Murderers
Q&A Radio: 5 July 2015, Question 2
I answered a question on executing insane murderers on 5 July 2015. You can listen to or download the podcast of just this question below – or check out the whole episode of Philosophy in Action Radio.
Should hopelessly insane murderers be put to death? Imagine a totally psychotic and extremely mentally disturbed person who has a propensity to violently kill innocent people. I am talking about a really stark raving bonkers individual. This person has no capability to think and act rationally. How can this person have any rights whatsoever? Why should it be the job of the state to provide for this person when they are locked up in an asylum? Would it be moral and practical to simply execute this person, thus removing the burden of having to keep an eye on him in case he escapes and kills someone?
My Answer, In Brief: Given that criminally insane murderers are not responsible for their actions, and given that they might be cured at some point, executing them would be terribly unjust and inhumane.
- Duration: 12:51
- Download: MP3 Segment (4.4 MB)
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- Philosophy in Action: The Morality of the Death Penalty
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About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell. I'm a philosopher specializing in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on most Sunday mornings and some Thursday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Thursday evenings, I interview an expert guest or discuss a topic of interest.
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