Here in the UK debate has sparked after a petition was started to reinstate the death penalty. The vast majority of people seem to be against it, and I'm against it personally, so it most likely will get no where (not to mention that it's illegal under EU law). It also seems to be supported by the Christian right, although obviously they are at no where near the strength here in the UK as they are in the States.
With America being one of the few 1st world countries that still have the death penalty and this being a largely American dominated forum, I thought it would be interesting to see if there is a difference of opinion on here. Can the death penalty ever be justified?
We may have the 'Death Penalty' in the USA, yet you'd be surprised how little it is actually carried out. Firstly, it's expensive because of all of the appeals that the taxpayers have to support before it can be finally carried out. Secondly, the "Christian Right" actually doesn't support it here as much as you may surmise, because killing is a "Sin."
However, I feel that it should be utilized, especially if someone is convicted of taking another life that was not in self-defense. Premeditated murder is proof that someone is either criminally insane or anti-social, and they have forfeited their right to live. Like a cancer they should be excised from society by death, or a lifetime of medical research as a lab rat to discover why they committed an atrocity. They should never be allowed to re-enter society since they have proven that they cannot respect another person's right to live. In short, if they are guilty then they have discarded their own life to taking another. People are not found guilty by accident ans mistake with the laws constructed to protect criminals as they do (see the recent Casey Anthony Case), and with the advances in DNA and crime scene evidence extraction the proof that someone is guilty should be enough to convict a criminal and have that sentence carried out.
Would you suffer to support the life of someone in jail, enjoying light labor, free cable in the cell, and free meals for years on your tax dollars after having killed your a parent or child? Criminal activity should be punished, and killers need to be permanently dealt with so that their DNA is not perpetuated (if it is the cause) or their behavior (nature) is inflicted upon a child to have them grow to be a killer like their parent. There is nothing wrong with the death penalty, there is no moral standard that should oppose it, it is merely a way to clean society of a cancer that should be removed for the good of that society...
I go back and forth on Capital Punishment all the time.
On the one hand, the system is so screwed as to be almost unfixable. So many innocents are murdered with Capital Punishment every year that it's almost not worth it.
On the flipside... I'm sorry, but I don't want my tax dollars going to give a proven serial killer or rapist a roof over their heads, free cable, free food, and any kind of social life whatsoever. I would honestly rather my taxes go towards these people's deaths. I don't care how "mentally sick" a person is. If they've taken numerous lives for no real reasons, or they've gone around raping women (or men, or children... or all of the above), again, for no real reasons, then I would rather they be killed.