Under what circumstances, if any, do you believe the death penalty should be carried out?

As examples, should a child rapist/killer receive the death penalty? What about a cop killer? And what about a traitor who sells military secrets to a foreign country?

Or perhaps you don't believe in the death penalty at all?

Thank you for your thoughts.

26 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Zero. I live in Texas, and I supported capital punishment for a long time, but the more I learned about it, the more I came to oppose it. In the end, several factors changed my mind:

    1. By far the most compelling is this: Sometimes the legal system gets it wrong. In the last 35 years in the U.S., over 130 people have been released from death row because they were exonerated by DNA and other evidence. These are ALL people who were found guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Unfortunately, DNA evidence is not available in most homicide cases. So, as long as the death penalty is in place, you are pretty much GUARANTEED to occasionally execute an innocent person.

    Really, that should be reason enough for most people to oppose it, but there are many others:

    2. Cost: Because of higher pre-trial expenses, longer trials, jury sequestration, extra expenses associated with prosecuting & defending a DP case, and the appeals process (which is necessary - see reason #1), it costs taxpayers MUCH more to execute prisoners than to imprison them for life. This disparity becomes even greater when you consider the time value of money – most of the costs of capital punishment are up-front, occurring before and during the trial itself, whereas most of the costs of life imprisonment are spread over the term of incarceration (usually 30-40 years).

    3. It is not a deterrent. In fact, violent crime rates are consistently HIGHER in death penalty jurisdictions. This may seem counterintuitive, and there are many theories about why this is (Ted Bundy craved the publicity, so he chose Florida – the most active execution state at the time – to carry out his final murder spree). It is probably due, at least in part, to the high cost (see #2) - every extra dollar spent on capital punishment is one that's NOT going to police departments, drug treatment programs, education, and other government services that help prevent crime. Personally, I think it also has to do with the hypocrisy of taking a stand against murder…by killing people. The government fosters a culture of violence by saying, ‘do as I say, not as I do.’

    4. It is inconsistently and arbitrarily applied. Factors that should be irrelevant (geography, race of the victim, poor representation, etc.) are all too often the determining factors in whether someone gets death versus life in prison.

    5. There’s also an argument to be made that death is too good for the worst criminals. Let them wake up and go to bed every day of their lives in a prison cell, and think about the freedom they DON’T have, until they rot of old age. When Ted Bundy was finally arrested in 1978, he told the police officer, “I wish you had killed me.” Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (the architect of the 9/11 attacks) would love nothing better than to be put to death. In his words, "I have been looking to be a martyr [for a] long time."

    6. Most governments are supposed to be secular, but for those who invoke Christian law in this debate, you can find arguments both for AND against the death penalty in the Bible. The New Testament (starring Jesus) is primarily ANTI-death penalty. For example, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus praises mercy (Matthew 5:7) and rejects “an eye for an eye” (Matthew 5:38-39). James 4:12 says that GOD is the only one who can take a life in the name of justice. In John 8:7, Jesus himself says, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

    7. Life without parole (LWOP) is on the books in most states now (all except Alaska), and it means what it says. People who get this sentence are taken off the streets. For good.

    8. Whether you’re a hardened criminal or a government representing the people, killing another human being is wrong. Period. “He did it first” is not a valid excuse.

  • Elaine
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Yes it's Biblical. The death penalty was established as a human judicial law by the God Yahweh Himself and is one of His Mosaic Laws which many of these laws were judicial laws for a country to run it's government by. It's purpose was to both remove the law breaking individual from society and scare the rest of the people into controlling their actions or else the same would happen to them. Yahweh Himself is being quoted in The Bible speaking and teaching this death penalty law to Moses after the Israelites exodus from being slaves of Egypt. The death penalty was and still is considered a justified killing of a convicted criminal and not an act of murder in the eyes of our God.

  • All Murderers, Child Molesters/Rapists, terrorists and traitors if what they did cost the lives of American soldiers or innocent people.

    All wife beaters should be put in a cell with a muscular 300 pound Gay guy and kept there for at least 15 years.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    serial killers

    (serial) rapists

    child predators



    repeat, aggravated violence (torture)

    certain cases of domestic abuse

    i don't approve of the death penalty for anyone who is only convicted of one violent crime, as usually those are committed in fits of passion and do not indicate that the individual is a true danger to society.

    better than the death penalty, however, for all criminals, is to make jail safer but more miserable.

    don't allow ANYTHING to enter the prison, except for strictly necessary supplies; only allow toothburshes that can't be sharpened into shivs

    don't allow prisoners to bulk-up-- NO weights! calisthenics only!

    don't allow prisoners to socialize in groups of more than 2 or 3

    have very strict rules which use isolation as enforcement

    use prisoners as state labor and provide structured activities so they don't have free time

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  • Debra
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I had a niece who was murdered. I personally do not believe in the death penalty.I do believe one who does this should be locked away forever, and have to work and try to redeem themselves. Nor, do I believe they should profit by writing books or other things.They belong in jail.When my niece was murdered, it was an ex boyfriend who went into the military and got involved in drugs.She was my brothers' daughter.She was 18, and so beautiful.After he executed her , he killed himself.My brother , his wife, and our whole family came to forgive this man.Is it easy ? NO ! Is it possible, yes.Every circumstance is different.Killing someone who killed your loved one, will not ease your pain, I can assure you.It is my own personal belief that God Is the Author of all life.The hardest thing to do is forgive.I think too, if I want forgiveness, I will get it from God, if I too forgive others. God will not force, ever.With forgiveness come peace.I know this from my own experience with my niece, and my brothers' family.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think it should be carried out for child murderers, cop killers, serial killers, and capital murders. I don't believe it should be for a traitor who commits treason, but I wouldn't mind it be carried out for poachers or people who are cruel to animals.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A cop killer,Terrorist and a Baby Killer.

  • 1 decade ago

    my opinion is...if they rap a person or a child..they need to have something cut off ..or if it is a woman it needs to be sewn together, or something....they shouldn't just be put on jail..they need to be dealt with some other way, a lot of them get out and do the same thing over again...once convicted they need to be taken out of society for good...we are too good to our criminals..the death penalty should be carried out to people who murder...they don't value life .....

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think any and all crime should be punishable by death, and the sentence carried out immediately after sentencing.

    And it should be public and broadcast on television.

    Kill a few people for something as simple as jaywalking and the crime rate would plummet.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    all of the above and then some....I 100% agree with the death penalty and think its a crock of shite how long they sit on death row after they have been convicted and sentenced to death

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