CASE STUDY – DEATH PENALTY HOBBES V LOCKE

SCENARIO:

In Manatee County, Florida, a judge sentenced a man to death—the first time this had happened in the county for over 19 years. Sentenced to death was a 25-year-old man for the January 7, 2004, murder of both of his parents by bludgeoning them to death in their bed with a baseball bat.

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On the the front page of the November 17, 2007 Bradenton Herald is this quote by the judge made at the sentencing: “You have not only forfeited your right to live among us, but under the laws of the state of Florida, you have forfeited the right to live at all.”

ASSIGNMENT:

Explain the Social Contract Theory and how it applies to this scenario by answering the following questions. .

1. Give a brief but comprehensive summary of Thomas Hobbes’s version of the Social Contract and John Locke’s version of the Social Contract. Identify and explain what is similar and what is different. between Hobbes’s and Locke’s views of the Social Contract. (Leave any analysis of how they may be similar or differ as to the death penalty for your answer to question 4).

2. State the ethical principle that the Social Contract ethical theory uses to determine what is right and wrong and identify the critiques of and problems with using this principle as presented by our textbook author and the class session materials.

3. How, if at all, does the Judge’s statement and authority in rendering this decision illustrate the Social Contract theory?

4. Explain whether Hobbes and Locke differ in the answer to the question of whether the death penalty is ethical according to the Social Contract? If so, how might they differ?

DO NOT GIVE YOUR PERSONAL OPINION ABOUT THE DEATH PENALTY. Keep your analysis in the context of how the Death Penalty is or is not an expression of the social contract and not your personal opinion of the death penalty.

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