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Is the death penalty acceptable?

The arguments for the death penalty include its use as a deterrent, a means to save lives, and a way to enact justice. Common counterarguments are that it fails as a deterrent, that justice is perverted because a certain proportion of convicts are later found innocent, and that under no circumstances is killing acceptable if it can be prevented.

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Experts and Influencers

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Experts In Christianity

Old Testament    Bible for Jews and Christians
If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. ... If a man commits adultery [...] both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.
Before 100 A.D.    Source

Experts In Business

Mitt Romney    Former Governor of Massachusetts
The appropriate response of society to terrorism carried out around the world or within the Commonwealth’s borders is to apply the death penalty.[...] along with a small number of other crimes, including the assassination of a law enforcement officer, judge, juror or prosecutor, for the purpose of obstructing an ongoing criminal proceeding.[...]as well as cases in which the defendant has already been convicted of first-degree murder or is serving a life sentence without parole.
14 Jun 2005    Source

Donald Trump    American Business Magnate
Anyone who would commit an act as heinous as this clearly has deep rooted emotional problems. While this crime was an insane act, it demonstrates a deep lack of respect for law and order by a segment of society in this country. I would be in favor of the death penalty for this type of senseless and violent act (as well as others like espionage, treason, acts of terrorism) committed against innocent citizens. The trial should be expeditious and not drag on for years, as so many [do].
10 Jan 2011    Source

Experts In Politics

John McCain    U.S. Senator, Republican
I think that the new technology of DNA would, I think, provoke a review, clearly, of cases that may be questionable, but I certainly wouldn't abandon the death penalty.
16 Feb 2000    Source

George W. Bush    United States President 2001-2009
These are people who were found guilty by a jury of their peers. These are people who have had full access to the courts of law. There's no doubt in my mind that each person who's been executed in our state was guilty of the crime committed. I support the death penalty for this reason: When the death penalty is administered in a ... sure and fair way, it will save lives. It will save lives.
16 Feb 2000    Source

Al Gore    Environmentalist, Former U.S. Vice President
I support the death penalty. I think that it has to be administered not only fairly … but also with very careful attention. If the wrong guy is put to death, then that’s a double tragedy. Not only has an innocent person been executed but the real perpetrator of the crime has not been held accountable for it, and in some cases may be still at large. But I support the death penalty in the most heinous cases
17 Oct 2000    Source

Miscellaneous Experts

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed    Islamic Jihadist
If I'm killed, I will be killed for the sake of God. I've been seeking to be a martyr for years. ... I wish to be martyred.
05 Jun 2008    Source

Experts In Law

Barack Obama    United States President
Mostly Disagree
While the evidence tells me that the death penalty does little to deter crime, I believe there are some crimes--mass murder, the rape and murder of a child--so heinous that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment. On the other hand, the way capital cases were tried in Illinois at the time was so rife with error, questionable police tactics, racial bias, and shoddy lawyering, that 13 death row inmates had been exonerated.
01 Oct 2006    Source

John Donohue    Economist, Law Professor
The view that the death penalty deters is still the product of belief, not evidence. The reason for this is simple: over the past half century the U.S. has not experimented enough with capital punishment policy to permit strong conclusions .... In light of this evidence, is it wise to spend millions on a process with no demonstrated value that creates at least some risk of executing innocents when other proven crime-fighting measures exist? Even consequentialists ought to balk.
01 Apr 2004    Source

American Civil Liberties Union    (ACLU) Lobbyist
The ACLU believes that, in all circumstances, the death penalty is unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment. We also believe that the death penalty continues to be applied in an arbitrary and discriminatory manner in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
09 Apr 2007    Source

Experts In Christianity

The Catholic Church    Largest Christian Church
A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform. I renew the appeal I made recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is cruel and unnecessary.
27 Jan 1999    Source


Add Your TakeOnIt (click to expand, no login required)
0 Points      June      04 Mar 2015      Stance on Question: Agree
Guys, the BIBLE said so. If you are Christian, then support death punishment.

0 Points      Rose      27 Dec 2015      General Comment
And if you read it was in the old testament. After the Lord gave Moses the 10 commandments which clearly states, " Thous shalt not kill " that then leads into the new testament. You can't just say support death punishment because the bible says & if you're Christian. No read your bible if you're going to use Christianity and the bible in your sentence. Killing is wrong, why should these rapists/killers anybody whos crimes are so horrendous get put to death? It's to easy of a punishment anyway. They deserve to suffer.

0 Points      Jake      19 Jan 2012      Stance on Question: Disagree
i think it's wrong because it is going against the constitution, to take a life is going against the constitution, and that the people who kill should just be put away from the society and not let out.

0 Points      bill      20 Mar 2012      Stance on Question: General Comment
well thats just stupid because the constitution also say that there is no cruel and unusual punishment. that means that there still should be a consenquense for a person murdering an other person or many persons. in this case this person sould be put to death.

0 Points      Jake      19 Jan 2012      General Comment
also who are we to decide who dies or not?

0 Points      MixinshitUp      20 Feb 2012      Stance on Question: Agree
If some cunt rapes and Decapitates your Rents?

0 Points      RationalThinker      13 Jan 2012      Stance on Question: Neutral
I think that the whole prison system should be changed...instead of wasting my tax dollars on sheltering somebody for decades, how about we just torture the offender based on his crime? itll save money and be more of a crime deturent

1 Point      H.L.      07 Oct 2011      Stance on Question: Agree
I think that if a person is sentenced with rape or murder or both and they have a history of crimes they should be sentenced to death because they never learned what is the point of keeping them in jail will it really "fix" them up make them a "better" person some but if they are charged with crimes then realeased and they murder or raped what is the point of putting them back in jail.

1 Point      blacktrance      10 Feb 2011      Stance on Question: Mostly Agree
Yes, although it needs reform. As it stands, it's expensive to condemn someone to death, and occasionally innocent people are executed. That's not an argument against the death penalty as a whole, though - only as it currently stands. If someone refuses to respect the right to not be killed, then they give up their right to not be killed, and it is only just for them to be put to death.

0 Points      Anonymous      30 Sep 2011      General Comment
"occasionally innocent people are executed. That's not an argument against the death penalty as a whole"
That is THE argument against the death penalty.
There's only one being in the universe who can decide who lives or dies.
It isn't you, me or even a dozen people sitting in a jury box.

0 Points      chris      03 Dec 2010      Stance on Question: Agree
I think that if you are bad enough to get sent to prison for at the least 1 life sentence you should get the chair or the lethal injection.

-1 Point      gretchen      10 Dec 2010      Stance on Question: Disagree
That is so wrong.

-1 Point      IAMGOD      11 Feb 2011      Stance on Question: Agree
think also about they been killed? they must be punish we created by god as equal shit!

1 Point      Aaron Faraday      29 Apr 2010      Stance on Question: Disagree
It's actually cheaper to pay for life in prison because of all the appeals and legal fees that inevitably come with the death penalty.

2 Points      Packbat      28 Mar 2010      Stance on Question: Disagree
I have three problems with the death penalty:

1. The death penalty is irreversible - errors in judgment cannot be corrected after the final execution takes place. This makes putting a death penalty system into place highly risky.

2. The death penalty is a poor deterrent - there has never been conclusive proof of any positive effect, much less a major effect. Combine with (1), and you can see that the death penalty may not prevent more innocent deaths than it causes (for example).

3. The death penalty requires that innocent people kill in cold blood. The psychological effect on the executioners - and the precedent this sets for vigilante action - are not to be ignored.

0 Points      JCBartlett      04 Mar 2009      Stance on Question: Agree
I agree, to a certain extent.

Better that criminals die rather than spend an entire life in jail (without release) using tax money and having a half life.

0 Points      Anonymous      24 Nov 2010      General Comment
But the death penalty is much more expensive than going to prison for life.

-1 Point      adr      08 Oct 2008      Stance on Question: Agree
I think if you do the crime, you have to do the time.

0 Points      Lulu      04 Mar 2009      General Comment
ummm...have i missed something? 'Do the time' means time IN JAIL. As in- no death penalty.

0 Points      Anonymous      11 Dec 2010      General Comment
by that he/she means ''time'' as in being put to death (most likely)

0 Points      Anonymous      10 Dec 2010      General Comment
very true(:

0 Points      Anonymous      06 Jun 2010      Stance on Question: Agree
When someone rapes or murders your sister/mother/wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend, etc., then come back and see if you still disagree with this sentiment.
2 guys who gang raped 3 women at my school got 8 years each. Do you think they will walk out of jail after and be completely normal? Do you think they are completely cured after that? Sex offenders very often re-offend after they are released. Very rarely are they 'cured' or helped by jail time. Those victims have to live with that fear and shame the rest of their lives and any future intimacy they have will be exceedingly difficult for them. Lethal injection is too good for them, if you ask me.

0 Points      Aaliyah Haqq      04 Feb 2014      General Comment
VERY, well said. i couldn't agree more.Some people go about as if human life isn't something precious and honorable. Those who encroach upon the right to respect other peoples lives, should lose all say of what happens to his.

0 Points      trishh      15 Aug 2011      General Comment
too good the examples..
according to me.. sentence to life imprisonment will be ideal for them.. then they will realise that what they've done was unforgiveable.. and also, who gives the guaranty that after releasing them, they won't commit the same mistakes..?

0 Points      divin      17 Apr 2013      Stance on Question: Disagree
the death penalty .is not right ,we should lock people up for life,rather then take there life we should not have the power to take an other humands life .... :(

0 Points      Ben Avis      06 May 2015      General Comment
With our tax money?