ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Nishad PatnaikSubscribe to Nishad Patnaik

On the Question of Capital Punishment

This paper examines the two basic types of ethical justification usually advanced in favour of capital punishment--those of deterrence and retribution. It contends that deterrence-oriented arguments, which fall under the rubric of utilitarianism, are questionable both on the grounds of their own consequentialist criterion--their supposed "utility" in producing a deterrent effect--as well as in terms of standard non-consequentialist (deontological) ethical theories. Through an analysis of retributivistic justifications of capital punishment, grounded in Kantian deontological ethics, the paper then points to a tension internal to the retributivistic conception of punishment. This te nsion brings to light a deeper moral sense inherent in retributivism, which provides normative grounds for opposing the death penalty.

India's Shift to the Right

The victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party led by Narendra Modi begs the question whether this remains just an "event" or represents the "advent" of something new in India's body politic. It is clear that the mandate for a right-wing persona who has built his career through the construction of the "other as an enemy" points to a regressive movement.
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