Guest Post: Death Penalty on Trial

Greetings everyone. Today I am putting up my first guest-post by Marie Owens, a prospective law student at Washington State. Today she deals with the death-penalty, someone called Immanuel Kant (I’ll pretend I don’t have a love-hate relationship with him), and a very interesting case-study on retributivism.

Take it away, Marie.



by Marie Owens

A 22-year-old man was dismembered and partially eaten by his seatmate on a Greyhound bus in July 2008. When 40-year-old Vince Weiguang Li was stabbing his victim Li appeared emotionless and his movements were without hesitation; as if he was in a trance. Thousands of people in Canada, where this horrific act took place, advocated for Li to receive the death penalty. The last execution in Canada was on Dec. 11, 1962 at Toronto’s Don Jail, almost 50 years ago at the time. The crime that Li committed, without remorse, was demonic, but is it ethical for him to receive the same fate in court? Ultimately Li ended up being sentenced to a mental institution because he was suffering from schizophrenia, but his actions made Canada re-evaluate the death penalty, which would not only change the country’s criminal justice system, but also force educational institutions to re-assess their criminal justice degree programs and completely change the acceptance evaluation process of mental institutions and hospitals. Big change for a case that even though heinous, is a common one that occurs on a daily basis all over the world. Murder is always going to occur between people. So: Is capital punishment really the ethical answer to this issue?

Continue reading