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Cruel and Unusual: Should Capital Punishment Hurt?
If the infliction of pain becomes acceptable in the case of criminals, it is more likely to be seen as acceptable in other forms and the resurgence of such cruel acts becomes more likely.
Painful executions have detrimental effects on society as they dull people's sensitivity toward human suffering. This phenomenon has been recognized and given a name: "compassion fatigue."
If some criminals are killed painfully, people will see painful punishments as a legitimate government action. This may desensitize people to the moral abhorrence of actions such as torture.
Crimes that warrant the death penalty
have been extended.
sets the tone
society in general
. If the government kills people in painful, horrifying ways, brutality becomes more normal and acceptable in all facets of life (e.g., domestic violence, hate crimes, beatings caused by disagreements, etc.).
Execution for criminals should be the only stronghold of pain in a developed society. It should be done with abhorrence.
This argument represents a
slippery slope fallacy
. It is by no means certain that the infliction of pain being accepted in a certain context makes it more likely to be accepted in other contexts.