a) Through the Utilitarian perspective, Bedau is a firm believer in the removal of capital punishment; Bedau thinks that no reason is good enough justify the more severe punishment like death penalty on the moral ground, and no evidence of deterrence and prevention is sufficient enough to support the retribution of justice to keep capital punishment. Bedau have raised several arguments direct to the issue of death penalty: The morality of self-defense and death penalty; the efficiency prevention and the deterrence through capital punishment; then finally the inequity treatment towards the racially disadvantaged and poor.
Bedau does not believe in justifying capital punishment as self-defense on the moral ground just to avoid further killing of innocent victims. (Bedau CC Pg 406) Self-defense is only justifiable when an aggression is in present with violence, and lives are at risk without any alternate solution to neutralize it. However, in the case of hostile situation there is always more option other than kill or get killed; there is always the third option of running away before engaging in violent acts. (Bedau CC Pg 406) Only when lives are being threatened with the probability death, should the extreme measure of lethal force be applied to the immediate scene. (Bedau CC Pg 406) In the case of execution, there is no immediate harm posting towards any life at the time, along with alternative solution being available, the argument of capital punishment being justify as self-defense is simply not plausible. (Bedau CC Pg407)
Capital punishment supposedly is serving as social utility to prevent the convicted to commit crime again and lowering the chance of others to commit the same crime, but Bedau argues otherwise. (Bedau CC Pg 407) Bedau believes the matter of prevention and deterrence are the two separate issues. Any penalty would have a certain level of deterrence of crime rate without prevention, while death penalty could only prevent the murderers to kill again by killing them. (Bedau CC Pg 407) In the observation of the parole, imprisonment, and release records, there is only about one out of five hundred convicted murderers would kill again; from this we can only tell that execution of these convicts could only prevent fewer killing to take place by taking more lives. (Bedau CC Pg 408) No concrete evidence could ever sufficiently prove the death penalty being more effective than life imprisonment in deterrence; therefore without a credible evidence to show the more serious penalty of death is efficient, the lighter sentence of life imprisonment should always be the more suitable choice. (Bedau CC Pg 409)
Another powerful argument from Bedau, would be the inequity of capital punishment given to the poor and the black for crimes that are less from murder, which is conflicting with the principle of lex talionis. When a black man committed rape or kidnapping, he is more likely to be given death sentence than a Caucasian man, especially...