Politics, Ethics and Capital Punishment in America
Professor Anthony R. Brunello

A critical opportunity for the abolition of capital punishment was passed in the 1970s in America. Evidence indicates that the reasons for the return of executions was not simply based on Supreme Court decisions, but propelled by a fearful reaction in American political culture to the changes wrought by the Civil Rights Movement and the turbulence of the Vietnam Era Anti-War movement. Americans demanded a visible response to their security fears as regards crime and punishment. Americans wanted more frequent and more severe punishments of those identified as perpetrator of violent crime. A second opportunity to abolish capital punishment may be emerging in the 21st century, but will the United States make the next steps in overcoming the failure of “moral arguments” over time? Critical questions regarding the application of public ethics in America can be understood in an examination of capital punishment.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rhps.v4n1a2