Whether criminals actually think before committing crimes I don't know. For example: I will commit murder and live the rest of my life in prison. But in reality there's a chance of death for themselves. Inmates can request anything they want for their last meal but some states have abolished this when criminals refused to eat their requested meals. The prisoner can also appeal their sentence an d its also estimated that 1 in 25 people on death row are innocent. Death row should remain in the shot for many years to come as I would expect it to deter many criminals from committing the crime however that assumption is inconclusive.
That is a very important fact. It has never made a change anywhere. Education, wellfare and absence of corruption are the most powerful weapons against crime, so that is what politics should focus on. Fear is too unstable and therefore unreliable.
The only supporting reason that's left then, is revenge: the satisfaction of people when someone is killed. A juridical system that is designed to satisfy in this way is deeply disturbing.
In addition, 1 executed person who later turned out innocent is already enough to completely sabotage the ethical aspect of capital punishment.
There is a reason why not the introducation, but the abolishment of the death penalty is so often a side-effect of the development of a civilization. It's a logical next step of progression.
The death penalty is no longer economically viable. It was fine back when all you needed to do to get executed was be accused of witchcraft by another "witch" but now we expect much higher standards. We now spend more money on executing a prisoner than on keeping them in prison for life. Also many people do not consider the death penalty to be a worse fate than life in prison which coupled with the decreasing availability of reliable drugs makes the death penalty more trouble than it's worth.
A life is never yours to take. So taking the criminals life would be an "eye for an eye" being unjustified. This is because that would be revenge. Your trying to by taking someones life, justify them taking another. You can't justify that because its doing the exact same thing. Yes, punish them but don't do the exact same thing they did.
There should be no death row because executions should happen immediately in the court room upon the completion of the trial. This should occur in front of the judge and jury so that they see the full results of their decision. It should also be publicly displayed as a deterrent to future crime and not be pleasant. It is a punishment after all. I recommend the executioner who is standing by for the verdict simply puts a large zip tie on the criminals neck and yanks it tight. No mess, low cost, deed done. Now we won't be paying for years of incarceration for no reason.