Beyond the intrinsically noxious nature of capital punishment, arguments for the measure are completely undemonstrated. The biggest argument in support of capital punishment, deterrence, lacks any supporting evidence. In fact, the evidence seems to suggest that capital punishment actually encourages violence by incorporating state-sanctioned murder into society. Furthermore, most murders are crimes of passion, drunkenness, or both. The argument for deterrence rests solely upon the criminal’s capacity for sound reasoning to prevent a killing. Both inebriation and extreme emotion override the mind’s ability to logically examine a situation.
An even worse defense of capital punishment is the purported necessity of retribution. This puerile argument panders to the primitive mind and raw emotion. What place does this vulgar appeal have in a society based on rational empathy and social advancement? “An eye for an eye” is a Bronze Age intellectual concept that deserves to be left in the past along with slavery, infanticide, and numerous other social institutions which we no longer accept.