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Cruel and Unusual: Should Capital Punishment Hurt?
This assumes a
theory of justice. But this is not a theory that should be adopted by the modern state.
Society is no better than a criminal if it tortures.
Utilitarian theories of punishment stress that punishment is only warranted when it prevents harm while inflicting the minimum necessary harm itself.
In a socio-economic structure like ours, lack of retributive punishments makes committing crimes against one's competition a successful strategy.
Immanuel Kant argued
that the only legitimate form of punishment the court can prescribe must be based on retribution and no other principle.
Virtually all modern sentencing systems
elements of retributive considerations (p. 46f.) with concerns such as "deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and denunciation", and are thus vastly more complex than the categories used for philosophical debates.