discuss the death penalty in two ways: first, as an expression of the social contract, where one person has killed another in a violation of that other person’s right to peace and safety, and second, as a rules-based function of the justice system being applied to a difficult situation.

Topic

First, here is a word of caution. With this discussion comes a tasking to discuss the death penalty in two ways: first, as an expression of the social contract, where one person has killed another in a violation of that other person’s right to peace and safety, and second, as a rules-based function of the justice system being applied to a difficult situation.

What do you see going on that is a violation of the Hobbes/Locke social contract idea?

And you might also connect it with any of the Three Schools, plus Aristotle, that you have read in past weeks—and especially with the rules-based ethics model.

Here’s the situation: In Manatee County, Florida, a judge sentenced a man to death—the first time this had happened in the county for over 19 years. Sentenced to death was a 25-year-old man for the January 7, 2004, murder of both of his parents by bludgeoning them to death in their bed with a baseball bat.

Now, with your social contract ethicist hats on, tell us what you make of this quote by the judge at the sentencing, quoted from the front page of the November 17, 2007 Bradenton Herald: “You have not only forfeited your right to live among us, but under the laws of the state of Florida, you have forfeited the right to live at all.”

Have at it, good folks. But, rather than running off with reactions and opinions about the death penalty in general, please do keep it in the context of our social contract discussion for this week and also connected with ethics of justice.

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