Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course



In this clip, the speaker is describing  valid points on why the death penalty is something which should be considered. The video argues pro death penalty using these 5 main points.

  1. Removal of a Threat to Society
  2. Closure for Victims
  3. Fear of Death
  4. No Proof Of Innocent Executed
  5. Eye for an Eye…

“If an offender has committed murder, he must die. In this case, no possible substitute can satisfy justice. For there is no parallel between death and even the most miserable life, so that there is no equality of crime and retribution unless the perpetrator is judicially put to death.” -Immanuel Kant

Conclusion: When someone inflicts harm upon others, the only fair punishment is to take away the right to live from them; as they did to their victim(s). The removal of a threat to society will make society a lot more positive.

Truth, Validity & Soundness: This argument is factually correct and valid. The speaker states that in the past removing the threat from society and only placing them in “high security” prison is a temporary soultion, however death is permanent. He supports this statement by using the example of Saddam Hussein and further explaining that “some criminals are truly above the law.” He notes that some may argue that in the past innocent people were executed…however there is no real proof of this happening. All points are proven to be valid, making this argument sound.





  1. bryanjack says:

    Hi Erin,

    While it can be difficult to prove objectively, there is ample evidence to conclude that a significant number of people serving time on death row (in America, at any rate) are in fact innocent. The Innocence Project (www.innocenceproject.org) has collected a list of death row inmates exonerated by DNA evidence in the last thirty years that is compelling if we consider that each of these wrongly-accused individuals was slated to die as a result of their criminal trials: http://www.innocenceproject.org/news-events-exonerations/2009/the-innocent-and-the-death-penalty

    Along the same lines, a study in 2014 found that more than 4% of death row inmates are likely innocent:

    “The study concludes that were all innocent people who were given death sentences to be cleared of their offences, the exoneration rate would rise from the actual rate of those released – 1.6% – to at least 4.1%. That is equivalent in the time frame of the study, 1973 to 2004, of about 340 prisoners – a much larger group than the 138 who were exonerated in the same period.

    “This is a disturbing finding,” said Samuel Gross, a law professor at the University of Michigan law school who is the lead author of the research. “There are a large number of people who are sentenced to death, and despite our best efforts some of them have undoubtedly been executed.””


    As well, the notion that “fear of death” acts as a deterrent to those who might commit violent crimes has been similarly refuted. In 2000 the New York Times conducted a study which concluded that “during the last 20 years, the homicide rate in states with the death penalty has been 48 percent to 101 percent higher than in states without the death penalty.”


    While the video offers emotionally compelling points, they are easily challenged on a factual basis, which threatens the arguments soundness, certainly. As to their validity, do they each contribute to the conclusion drawn (whether they are factually correct or not)?


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