发布时间：2016-06-13 来源：新东方在线 发布人：Too
We threaten punishments in order to deter crime.We impose them not only to make the threats credible but also as retribution (justice)for the crimes that were not deterred.Threats and punishments are necessary to deter and deterrence is a sufficient practical justification for them.Although penalties can be unwise，repulsive，or inappropriate，and those punished can be pitiable，in a sense the infliction of legal punishment on a guilty person cannot be unjust.By committing the crime，the criminal volunteered to assume the risk of receiving a legal punishment that he could have avoided by not committing the crime.
There remain，however，two moral objections.The penalty may be regarded as always excessive as retribution and always morally degrading.To regard the death penalty as always excessive，one must believe that no crime—no matter how heinous—could possibly justify capital punishment.Such a belief can be neither confirmed nor refuted;it is an article of faith.Alternatively，one may believe that everybody，the murderer no less than the victim，has a natural right to life.The law therefore should not deprive anyone of life.
Justice Brennan has insisted that the death penalty is “uncivilized，”“inhuman，”inconsistent with “human dignity”and with “the sanctity of life，”that it “treats members of the human race as nonhumans，as objects to be toyed with and discarded，”that it is “uniquely degrading to human dignity”and “by its very nature，involves a denial of the executed person‘s humanity.” Justice Brennan does not say why he thinks execution“uncivilized.”Hitherto most civilizations have had the death penalty，although it has been discarded in Western Europe.
By“degrading，”Justice Brennan seems to mean that execution degrades the executed convicts.Yet philosophers have insisted that，when deserved，execution，far from degrading the executed convict，affirms his humanity by affirming his rationality and his responsibility for his actions.They thought that execution，when deserved，is required for the sake of the convict‘s dignity.Common sense indicates that it cannot be death—our common fate—that is inhuman.Therefore，Justice Brennan must mean that death degrades when it comes not as a natural or accidental event，but as a deliberate social imposition.The murderer learns through his punishment that his fellow men have found him unworthy of living;that because he has murdered，he is being expelled from the community of the living.This degradation is self-inflicted.By murdering，the murderer has so dehumanized himself that he cannot remain among the living.
Execution of those who have committed heinous murders may deter only one murder per year.If it does，it seems quite warranted.It is also the only fitting retribution for murder I can think of.
1.The author‘s attitude towards death penalty is____.
[A] negative [B] positive [C] impartial [D] ambiguous
2.It is implied that infliction of legal punishment is justified because the offender____.
[A] spares no effort in holding himself back from the criminal action
[B] shows no regard for the dignity of the victim
[C] is well aware of the consequence of his action
[D] can be deterred by no legal punishment whatsoever
3.By saying that“most civilizations have had the death penalty”，the author really means that____.
[A] civilization in Western European countries is degenerating
[B] the assertion that capital punishment is uncivilized is arbitrary
[C] death penalty is an effective legal institution for defending civilization
[D] being uncivilized is not equivalent to being inhuman
4.Justice Brennan would agree that____.
[A] death in any way means a denial of a person‘s humanity
[B] the society has no right to take an individual‘s life
[C] murders should be educated rather than punished
[D] degrading a convict is nothing more than executing him
5.According to philosophers，death penalty____.
[A] should be executed with due regard for human dignity
[B] should not be given in a way that degrades the murder
[C] meets the murder‘s need for claiming back his humanity
[D] serious crimes deserve cruel or even inhuman retribution
1.[B] 意为：赞同。作者在第一段指出，虽然惩罚可能是不理智、令人厌恶或不合适的，那些受到惩治的人是值得怜悯的，但是对一个罪犯实施法律惩处在某种意义上不可能是不公正的。作者在第二段驳斥了两种反对惩罚 (包括死刑)的观点，并在第三、第四段驳斥了Brennan法官的观点。最后一段提到，对那些犯有恶意杀人罪的犯人施以死刑也许每年只能终止一场杀人案，如果是那样的话，实施死刑似乎也是值得的，这也是我能想像的对杀人罪惟一合适的惩罚。可见，作者是赞同实施死刑的。[C]意为：客观的。D]意为：模棱两可的。