"The Impermissibility of Execution"

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Speaker, Benjamin Yost, Professor at Cornell University will talk about "The Impermissibility of Execution."

Many have argued that the death penalty should be abolished because of the irrevocability of execution. However, no one has offered a philosophical defense of this view. I will do just that. I show that capital trials are shot through with a special kind of uncertainty, higher-order uncertainty. Higher-order uncertainty extends even to the trials of offenders like the Tree of Life murderer, who confessed to multiple killings that were observed by numerous eyewitnesses. Importantly, uncertainty places moral constraints on sentencers. When higher-order uncertainty is present, sentencers may not select an irrevocable punishment, owing to the risk of errors that cannot be corrected. In capital cases, then, execution is off the table. I conclude by clarifying that my irrevocability argument does not mandate leniency for noncapital crimes. 

Have a chance to meet Benjamin Yost before the talk. 
Coffee Reception | 4-5:30 p.m. in McKenzie Commons (LBR-1251)

Please submit interpreting requests to myAccess.rit.edu

John Capps
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When and Where
April 12, 2024
4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Room/Location: EAS-2000

Open to the Public

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