Though it seems there's an extensive discussion about capital punishment already elsewhere (haven't read it yet), I figure I may as well add here that I throw in my lot with those who say that capital punishment should be "banned" as you put it. I had to give a little persuasive speech about this last semester in fact, however everything I touched on was exclusively relevant to the United States.
I really think that the emotional conviction to hang on to the death penalty is flimsy and falls flat in light of the facts. To this day I haven't found one good reason for keeping capital punishment in the United States.
I am all for the death penalty, actually. I think they need to use it more and stop overcrowding our prisons. There are a whole slew of people I would use it on, and these include child rapists and others who commit crimes against children. Repeat sex offenders? Gone. Murderers? Gone.
Of course, this would be based on conclusive evidence. I would give them 1 appeal. No reason to keep them hanging out.
Consider the fact that the justice system is flawed; many cases are decided by arbitrary factors such as race or economic status of the defendant. Innocent people have been put on death row and later had to be exonerated because the system by which the death penalty is issued is not altogether impartial.
Note that even an "efficient" system of issuing the death penalty, that is to say, a system in which most or all of those who are issued the death penalty actually receive it (see Texas), does not prove by executing all of those who are accused that every defendant was necessarily guilty. Texas especially is a hotbed of injustice. 1 in 4 people on death row in Texas were represented by state provided attorneys (almost no defendants in capital cases can afford their own attorneys) who were later reprimanded, suspended, or even banned from practicing law by the State Bar due to malpractice. What does that tell you?
I think it's a common misconception that prison is awesome. To be fair, I've never been to one. So it might be :P
I don't know that its AWESOME, but you cannot deny the fact that prisoners are afforded more rights/privileges than a good portion of our law abiding citizens.
I have never been in either, but know plenty of people who have and most come out like it was no big deal. Prison SHOULD be a big deal.
Much of our prison overcrowding comes from potheads and other drug offenses.
I'm in favor of the death penalty in matters where the continued existence of someone would pose a likely danger to the rest of society. Murderers, for example, pose a continued risk to society and, imo, have no redeeming factor that can outweigh their danger to others. When you have cancer cells, you don't "rehabilitate" them, you destroy them.
Though, to be fair, I concede the point that innocent people would be at risk in the current system where arbitrary things such as economic class can swing a trial against someone. While I do think the death penalty should be used, I think it should perhaps be used less than it is and that imposing such a penalty should require a higher standard than even the usual "beyond a reasonable doubt."
Of course, I would not at all be opposed to abolishing the death penalty IF we actually HAD a successful means of rehabilitating criminals. Currently, we do not.
To use your own analogy, yes you destroy cancer cells, but sometimes this is to the severe detriment of non-cancerous, healthy parts of the body. Example: chemotherapy may kill cancer, but also poses a significant risk to the health of the patient. Similarly, The death penalty is damn expensive, and does not offer enough for what it costs us taxpayers.
Cases in which the death penalty is sought after cost on average between 1 to 3 million, with some cases reaching 7 million dollars. Cases in which death penalty is not sought after (and life imprisonment is reached) cost taxpayers 500,000 dollars on average. Also, the costs of death penalty cases are not only larger, but they are immediate. On the other hand, costs of giving a criminal life imprisonment are smaller and spread out over the life of the criminal (40 yrs on average), making them significantly easier for the taxpayer to swallow.
One interesting thing that people rarely take into consideration is that 82% of cases in which the death penalty is sought after result in life imprisonment anyway. This means that many cases rack up exorbitant costs involved with and death penalty cases but still ultimately result in the added costs of a life sentence.
Unconvinced that we're paying too much for keeping the death penalty? Look up New Jersey. Between 1983 and 2010, taxpayers in NJ paid 253 million dollars in taxes for capital punishment cases. Guess what? Nobody has been executed in that whole time in the state of New Jersey. That money could've helped prevent crime by going to hospitals, police stations, or other public services.
I am all for the death penalty as well. Many people think that it is inhumane but what these people do is inhumane. They deserve the death penalty if they do a crime of that magnitude. And anyways have you seen the men and women who are on death row? Most of them are heartless killers who just have the urge to kill and have no thought behind it? Do u want those kind of people out on the streets?