Speech in Favor of Capital Punishment – Article Example

The paper "Speech in Favor of Capital Punishment" is an excellent example of an article on social science. “Speech in Favor of Capital Punishment” by John Stuart Mill is an important article dealing with the utilitarian philosophy concerning the controversial topic of capital punishment and this English philosopher emphatically supports capital punishment on humanitarian grounds drawn from his philosophy of utilitarianism. John Stuart Mill delivered this famous speech to the English Parliament in 1868 and he opposes the bill that aimed at banning capital punishment. According to him, capital punishment should be defended on the very ground on which it is commonly attacked, i.e. the ground of humanity to the criminal. “If in our horror of inflicting death, we endeavor to devise some punishment for the living criminal which shall act on the human mind with a deterrent force at all comparable to that of death, we are driven to the inflictions less severe indeed in appearance, and therefore less efficacious, but far more cruel in reality.” (Mill, 304) According to Mill, it is more humanitarian to adopt capital punishment to a criminal than to inflict a punishment which the criminal carries all through the rest of his life. To compare the severity of punishment, one may compare between “consigning a man to the short pang of a rapid death and immuring him in a living tomb, there to linger out what may be a long life in the hardest and most monotonous toil, without any of its alleviations or rewards – debarred from all pleasant sights and sounds, and cut off from all earthly hope…” (Mill, 304) In a reflective exploration of the speech delivered by Mill, it becomes lucid that the author has a very valid point to make, about the value of human life and about humanitarian considerations for a criminal. Therefore, it is essential to realize the valid points concerning capital punishment, presented by Mill in his speech, and capital punishment has a great implication on grounds of humanity to the criminal.