Should capital punishment be made illegal across the USA?

Asked by: MysticEgg
  • It fails to fit the bill over alternatives.

    It fails at
    a) Morality - you kill people. If people want to explain how killing is moral; I invite you.
    B) Cost - it is almost always far more expensive to kill someone than lock them up in jail for life. Sounds backwards? Yes, it does, but look up some data, it's true; partly because costs of individuals go down when you add more to one jail, because their needs overlap.
    C) Fairness - innocent people are executed. For example, DeLuna. Only small amounts, true, but tell that to the families who are in rage and distress before you invoke the emotion card for Pro-death.

    However, it does succeed at one thing:
    Hypocrisy. Yes, the US government takes the stance of: "do as I say, not as I do". It's really bad to kill people, so bad that we're willing to kill you as punishment for he horror, the atrocity, of...

    Yes, I see no reason apart from revenge disguised in legality to call it justice.

  • Unalienable, Human Right to Life; Cruel, Unusual Death Penalty

    The USA constitutionally protects certain unalienable rights. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" (Declaration of Independence.) I understand that breaking the law is grounds for punishment, and I condone prison time, which takes away liberty. I understand that the pursuit of happiness is a right for law abiding citizens, therefore breaking the law limits the ability to pursue happiness. Liberty and the pursuit of happiness are rights within the social contract between government and citizen. Life is a human right given by God and it should only be taken away by God.

    It is cruel and unusual punishment for the government to murder people. Out of 196 countries in this world, merely 21 countries executed people in 2012. Only eleven percent of the world carries out capital punishment; the United States is one of few countries that are still murdering as a means of punishment. Not only because 89% of the world did not murder a single person in 2012 with the death penalty, it would also be remiss of the United States to conclude that it is morally right to murder a person convicted of a crime, because as my wise mother always told me: two wrongs don't make a right.

  • They Had Their Chance

    Capital Punishment is necessary in America, because the convicted criminals on death row murdered innocent people, without providing them with a judge, jury, trial, or last meal. Murderers shouldn't be sentenced to life in prison, because of a few reasons. 1. Overcrowding 2. The cost provided by tax-payers to keep them alive, by means of three meals a day, infirmary, guards, etc. 3. The classic adage of "an eye for an eye" holds true, because if somebody kills 10 people, in cold blood, why should they be allowed to live? 4. In cases of abortion, the baby fetus is killed, unjustly. It didn't commit felonies. It isn't even provided a chance to speak for itself. But they're killed, daily. Why do people think that it's acceptable to take the life of an innocent, unborn baby, opposed to somebody who committed felonies, and by justice, was sentenced to death? 5. People opposed to Capital Punishment always claim, "What if they were innocent?" The justice system, just like any other system in the history of the world, has flaws. However, that doesn't mean we have to eliminate the death penalty! When there was that big scare about which eggs were good, and which eggs had salmonella, a few years ago, eggs were not taken away forever. Similar stories with produce and meat, as well. The point is, when somebody is sentenced to death, it is when they are proven, by a jury of their peers, beyond a reasonable doubt that they are surely guilty. The number of times when somebody was later found to have been not guilty is incredibly small, but blown out of proportion. Opposed to popular belief, the death penalty isn't just "handed-out", it is used, when it is necessary, and without it, America would be much worse off. I'm not saying we have to become as radical as other countries, but we need to start drawing lines somewhere.

  • Capital punishment is just institutionalized revenge.

    There is a reason the vast majority of developed nations have abolished capital punishment.

    (1) It is ridiculously unethical to state that killing someone is a justifiable response to killing. It just keeps the cycle going.
    (2) A large number of death row inmates have later been exonerated. If we put to death even a single innocent person, that means we have committed murder and ourselves would deserve the death penalty.
    (3) It costs THREE TIMES the taxpayer dollars to give capital punishment than it does to give a criminal life imprisonment, because of due process. And eliminating due process would circle us back to #2- putting people to death that have been wrongly imprisoned.
    (4) It serves no deterrent purpose. Statistics and research have repeatedly shown that capital punishment does not deter crime. This is largely because violent crimes are committed for three main reasons- (1) passion, which cannot be deterred by thoughts of punishment since it is not pre-meditated, (2) money, and killers for hire are professionals and thus not deterred by possible punishment, and (3) psychological issues, which do not involve reason to start.

  • Hang 'em high.

    Capital punishment is about more than just revenge - though in my opinion that's a perfectly justifiable reason for it as well. One good thing is that it acts as a deterrent. Even psychotic pieces of garbage are afraid of their own deaths. How many have not gone through with what they desired because they knew they could get the death penalty. Also, why should the taxpayers support someone for the rest of their miserable lives, so they can whine about the horrible prison conditions like they are guests at a hotel. This would be a great country once again if people were less concerned with the rights of those that don't deserve any, and more about what's right and fair for everyone.

  • Capital Punishment is just form of punishment for murder.

    Capital Punish is a legitimate for of punishment for particularly heinous and brutal crimes, mainly that of premeditated murder. Too often in these debates people are prone to ignore the victims of these crimes and deprive them of the justice due to them. As for the other side, I haven't debated this topic at any length for a decade, but there points are very weak.

    1) Institutionalized revenge? Flawed moral logic; no different than saying we shouldn't imprison someone that kidnapped and held a young girl because prison is a form of institutionalized kidnapping. Or like making the moral claim that rape and sex are the same thing because they both end in sexual contact. This point is easily dismissed.
    2) A large number of exonerations? Hardly, a more apy description would be a handful. Capital punishment is extremely rare especially and usually takes more than a decade to carry out the sentence. There are a number of appeal opportunities and ample time to bring in new evidence. There are clemency hearings and other avenues as well. The system overall works well in this regard although I would argue the delay in justice can be too great. As for the radical notion that even one mistake invalidates the system is as absurd as claiming on traffic fatality would necessitate an abandonment of automobiles and roads. Besides, your alternative seems to be that we could conceivably allow a person to languish the rest of their life, theoritically innocent, and die in prison.
    3) I would dispute that cost should take precedent over justice. Surely you would look for ways to reduce cost and I would dispute that it even costs more.
    4) When I debated this issue over a decade ago, there were something like 500,000 to 600,000 homicides since the reinstatement of capital punishment versus about 820 capital cases. That makes it extremely rare and with an average of over a decade to carry out the sentence, the deterrent is further reduced. The unwillingness of many states to even use capital punishment further cuts into this this claim. Your studies are faulty. We could turn your #2 on it's head and suggest that if it deterred even one murder and saved a life, it'd be worth it.

    As for the next:

    a) see #1, flawed moral logic. Prison is kidnapping, rape is sex, etc.
    B) The cost issue is disputed, can be reduced, and really shouldn't factor into the justice of victims brutally slain.
    C) Paul Casell did a very thorough study some years ago and couldn't find a single documented case of a wrongful execution in the second half of the 20th century. And one wrongful execution doesn't mean putting a serial murderer to death is unfair. He was afforded the same legal system as everyone else. I think you're just throwing out words without logical thinking them through.

    If you can murder someone in cold blood, you forfeit your own life in the process.

  • Death penalty is constitutionally protected.

    The 5th amendment gives a clear basis for the constitutionality of the death penalty. This amendment states that no one shall be "deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." From this, it can be concluded that life may be deprived from someone who has undergone due process of law.
    To make this illegal would be to amend the constitution itself. Misguided state governments can and have discontinued the use of death penalty. That is as close as you will get to defeating this reasonable and fitting mode of punishment.

  • No, it should be down to individual states to decide

    The whole point of the state system in the usa is to give local people more power over the laws that affect them. If the people of one state want capital punishment to be made illegal in there state then fine, but if another state wants to keep capital punishment then they should be allowed to after all it is the chose.

  • A lot of variables to consider.

    Both sides of this opinion make good points.And I've always been on the fence about it.I understand it cost more, innocent people have been executed and it really does just seem like a midievil form of revenge for a less sophisticated society ....BUT ...I cant help but think if I had a beloved family member brutally murdered!Or a young relative,raped and murdered, how vengefully upset I'd be.That's why I think it would be intellectually dishonest for me to say we should abolish it.I think that's a question and scenario everybody really needs to consider!..And if you have been there(firstly I'm sorry)and you still forbid it..Then I applaud your conviction and courage ..Your a better person than I am.

    Posted by: rja7

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