Cafe Inquiry

Tuesday, November 27th 2012 at 7:00 pm
Tuesday, November 27th 2012 at 9:00 pm
Hill Center DC, 921 Pennsylvania Ave SE (Eastern Market Metro), Washington, DC 20003

Note Location: We will be in Walt Whitman Room. Entrance is on 9th St SE. Elevator access available. Overflow room available in case of higher turnout to ensure all attendees receive adequate opportunities to participate.

Cafe Inquiry is our monthly casual get-together to meet people and discuss topics of science and humanism.

This month's discussion: Is capital punishment justified?

(Note: the topic chosen at last month's session, on freedom of information and government secrecy, will be delayed until January because the person who proposed it cannot come to the December session.)

The United States is one of the few western democracies to still permit the death penalty, executing 42 people in 2011, the fifth highest total in the world after China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. When, if ever, is the death penalty justified? What are the moral arguments for and against it? What are the economic and practical arguments? Is the death penalty applied fairly? Are those who favor capital punishment motivated by consideration of justice, or feelings of revenge? Is there any other way for the families of victims of  horrific crimes to get closure? Is capital punishment justified for those who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity, i.e. should the Nazis have been hanged? Could you personally execute someone? 

We are also planning to go out for food and/or drinks afterwards. Free and open to the public.

Interested in leading a discussion or have someone to recommend? Please contact us at dc[at]