Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 7 years ago

What are your opinions on capital punishment?

There seems to be alot of colorful people here on this site and I just wanted to see what all of your views are on this.

I'm an Atheist and I support capital punishment. The reason I support it is quite simple. When some murders or rapes another person isn't it fair that if a life is taken the cost should be another life? I believe this to be true, an eye for an eye. Murderers are honestly a waste of air, food, and space. There's not much of a reason to keep threats to society alive, especially when some of them only get a few years in prison. It's sickening when people die(By a pointless murder) without reason.

Back in school a teacher of mine touched up on this topic, I was the only one in the class who was for the death penalty and the teacher/most of the other students were against it. They'd say things like "Who gives you the right to take the life of another?", "It costs too much money." "What if the court system fails and an innocent gets killed instead?", etc...

My response to those were.

1. What gave the the criminal the right to take the life of an innocent?

2. Who cares about the money. This is about whether you want criminals to be executed or not.

3. What happens when the court system fails and a murderer is free to walk the streets and kills someone else? what then?

Number 3 is a slippery slope either way.

So what's your take on this? Is it a norm to be against it? Are you for it or against it? Maybe in the in between? I'd like to know.

This was just an out of the blue question :)

11 Answers

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Colorful, lol, I'm kind of a dull brown!

    Capital punishment should be reserved for special cases, like Picton or Ridgeway.

    Incarceration is OK too, probably better. Olsen was an outrage, but died in prison.

  • 7 years ago

    You seem to be focused on the eye for an eye argument. I believe that you have hit on the only plausible reasons to support it: retribution or revenge.

    For the worst crimes, life without parole is better, for many reasons. I’m against the death penalty not because of sympathy for criminals but because it doesn’t reduce crime, prolongs the anguish of families of murder victims, costs a whole lot more than life in prison, and, worst of all, risks executions of innocent people.

    The worst thing about it. Errors:

    The system can make tragic mistakes. As of now, 143 wrongly convicted people on death row have been exonerated. We’ll never know for sure how many people have been executed for crimes they didn’t commit. DNA is rarely available in homicides, often irrelevant and can’t guarantee we won’t execute innocent people.

    Keeping killers off the streets for good:

    Life without parole, on the books in most states, also prevents reoffending. It means what it says, and spending the rest of your life locked up, knowing you’ll never be free, is no picnic. Two big advantages:

    -an innocent person serving life can be released from prison

    -life without parole costs less than the death penalty

    Costs, a big surprise to many people:

    Study after study has found that the death penalty is much more expensive than life in prison. The process is much more complex than for any other kind of criminal case. The largest costs come at the pre-trial and trial stages. These apply whether or not the defendant is convicted, let alone sentenced to death.

    Crime reduction (deterrence):

    Homicide rates for states that use the death penalty are consistently higher than for those that don’t. The most recent FBI data confirms this. For people without a conscience, fear of being caught is the best deterrent. The death penalty is no more effective in deterring others than life sentences.

    Who gets it:

    The death penalty magnifies social and economic inequalities. It isn't reserved for the worst crimes, but for defendants with the worst lawyers. It doesn't apply to people with money. Practically everyone sentenced to death had to rely on an overworked public defender.


    Like no other punishment, it subjects families of murder victims to a process which makes healing even harder. Even families who have supported it in principle have testified to the protracted and unavoidable damage that the death penalty process does to families like theirs and that life without parole is an appropriate alternative.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Capital punishment is always wrong. There are many arguments against it, but here is what I think is the killer blow.

    It's a fact a percentage of people on death row are wrongfully convicted.

    Now - imagine you are on death row for a crime you didn't commit. Tomorrow, there's going to be an election to decide whether or not your state keeps the death penalty. You get to vote in the election.

    Do you value the death penalty so greatly that you'd forfeit your own life (unfairly) by voting for it?

  • Paul
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    A state that kills its own citizens has no right to demand its citizens not kill each other.

    Capital punishment is not an effective "deterrent."

    It's more costly than 25-30 years of incarceration.

    The only purpose it serves is revenge -- there is no other justification for it.

    And revenge only begets MORE violence, not less.

    Take a look around the world: nations/states without the death penalty have lower (usually significantly lower) rates of crimes that would merit the death penalty. Yes, I know, correlation is not causation -- but it IS correlation, and most of those nations learned from very violent pasts (where they DID have the death penalty) that state killing doesn't help or solve anything. Perhaps you could learn that, too.


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  • 7 years ago

    It's not about "killing them back" as some people have mentioned. It's about forfeiting our rights - society rescinding them. And living in the society is a privilege that can be revoked. Ideally, we would simply expel them, but to where? Australia's no longer available. If you behave in such a way that we decide you may no longer live among us, for OUR protection, not out of some sense of justice for you personally, then you forfeit your right to live at all. I think it's proper. No one gets executed for life's little mistakes. They get executed for murdering a family or something. Or ( in my ideal world ) releasing a computer virus. Things that damage society and are nothing less than a damaging attack on society.

    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Perhaps when you are older and paying taxes, you will understand how stupid it is to pay for the most expensive option possible.

    I believe that prisoners should spend their first night in prison in a comfortable room with a suicide option. (Prisoners can put on the gas mask or take the pills for a painless death). Give them sedatives as well if they want them. I suspect that many would prefer that, and it would give peace of mind to their victims while relieving tax payers of unnecessary expense.

    PS: Did you know that cultures that did not use money did not have any crime or even any mental illness? (studies done 100 years ago) Prisoners are victims of social barbarity, but they don't know it.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Taking a life intentionally is murder anyway you look at it and 2 wrongs don't make a right

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    It's necessary sometimes but I don't think it should be allowed in schools and other methods like time out should be tried first.

  • 7 years ago


    You are dead right. Take this to your class.

    The Death Penalty: Justice & Saving More Innocents

    Dudley Sharp

    The death penalty has a foundation in justice and it spares more innocent lives.

    The majority populations of all countries, likely, support the death penalty for some crimes (1).

    Why? Justice.

    Anti death penalty arguments are either false or the pro death penalty arguments are stronger. Evidence follows:

    The Death Penalty: Fair & Just

    The Death Penalty: Mercy, Expiation, Redemption & Salvation

    Few Conservatives Embrace Anti Death Penalty Deceptions

    1994-2013: The Real Reasons Death Penalties & Executions Fell


    The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy



    OF COURSE THE DEATH PENALTY DETERS: A review of the debate



    99.7% of murderers tell us "Give me life, not execution"

    Saving Costs with The Death Penalty


    Immanuel Kant: "If an offender has committed murder, he must die. In this case, no possible substitute can satisfy justice. For there is no parallel between death and even the most miserable life, so that there is no equality of crime and retribution unless the perpetrator is judicially put to death.". "A society that is not willing to demand a life of somebody who has taken somebody else's life is simply immoral."

    Pope Pius XII; "When it is a question of the execution of a man condemned to death it is then reserved to the public power to deprive the condemned of the benefit of life, in expiation of his fault, when already, by his fault, he has dispossessed himself of the right to live." 9/14/52.

    John Murray: "Nothing shows the moral bankruptcy of a people or of a generation more than disregard for the sanctity of human life." "... it is this same atrophy of moral fiber that appears in the plea for the abolition of the death penalty." "It is the sanctity of life that validates the death penalty for the crime of murder. It is the sense of this sanctity that constrains the demand for the infliction of this penalty. The deeper our regard for life the firmer will be our hold upon the penal sanction which the violation of that sanctity merit." (Page 122 of Principles of Conduct).

    Plato: “Longer life is no boon to the sinner himself in such a case, and that his decease will bring a double blessing to his neighbors; it will be a lesson to them to keep themselves from wrong, and will rid society of an evil man. These are the reasons for which a legislator is bound to ordain the chastisement of death for such desperate villainies, and for them alone”

    William A. Petit, Jr.: "Justice is the first virtue of social institutions," according to philosopher John Rawls. It transcends national borders, races and cultures. The death penalty is the appropriate societal response to the brutal and willful act of capital felony murder. Every murder destroys a portion of society. Those murdered can never grow and contribute to humankind; the realization of their potential will never be achieved. I support the death penalty not as a deterrent or for revenge or closure, but because it is just and because it prevents murderers from ever harming again. By intentionally, unlawfully taking the life of another, a murderer breaks a sacrosanct law of society and forfeits his own right to live. (In a home invasion, Dr. Petit was, severely injured, his wife Jennifer and their 11 year old daughter Michaela were raped and murdered. Both daughters, Michaela and Hayley were burned, alive.)

    John Locke: "A criminal who, having renounced reason... hath, by the unjust violence and slaughter he hath committed upon one, declared war against all mankind, and therefore may be destroyed as a lion or tyger, one of those wild savage beasts with whom men can have no society nor security." And upon this is grounded the great law of Nature, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." Second Treatise of Civil Government.

    Saint (& Pope) Pius V: "The just use of (executions), far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this (Fifth) Commandment which prohibits murder." "The Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent" (1566).

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau: "In killing the criminal, we destroy not so much a citizen as an enemy. The trial and judgments are proofs that he has broken the Social Contract, and so is no longer a member of the State." (The Social Contract).

    3300 additional pro death penalty quotes

    1) 86% Death Penalty Support: Highest Ever - April 2013

    World Support Remains High

    95% of Murder Victim's Family Members Support Death Penalty


    Victim's Voices - These are the murder victims

    Much more, upon request.

  • old
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    Some people need to get executed. For example the Muslim terrorist in Boston who isn't dead yet. He needs to be dead.

    Trixie, brilliant answer. I'm still laughing here.

    Source(s): I've been atheist for one half century.
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