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Should The U.S. Abolish The Death Penalty?

The death penalty in the U.S. is a very controversial topic, with strong arguments for both sides. Should the U.S. end the death penalty?

a full 87% of writers and pundits say yes
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Should The U.S. Abolish The Death Penalty?  

Writers and pundits who say or about the topic, "Should The U.S. Abolish The Death Penalty?"
last 24 hours | nytimes
A Death Penalty Advocate's Sad Argument - The New York Times - New York Times

"...It is easy to caricature Mr. Cox as little more than the angry, unrepentant face of vengeance behind America's ever-narrowing campaign of state-sponsored killing. But it is important to listen closely to what he is saying about his job, which subjects those who do it to daily trauma and cruelty on a level most people never experience.And that is another reason the death penalty must end: It dehumanizes not just those put to death, but everyone involved in the process from the prosecutors who seek it to the juries who impose it and the executioners who carry it out...." see full article

974 days ago | usatoday
Jonah Goldberg: Lawfare is killing the death penalty - USA TODAY

"...It's true that the death penalty has become wildly expensive. But why? Shouldn't executions cost less than lifetime room and board? The reason is simple. For decades, the anti-capital punishment bar has flooded courts with expensive appeals and challenges and then used the costs they've generated as an argument against the practice.Obviously, some of these appeals have been warranted, as far too many have been wrongly sent to death row. But the well-funded opponents of the death penalty make no such distinction. They make the executions of even the most heinous and transparently guilty murderers as expensive as possible. It's a deeply cynical strategy deployed in service of sincerely held conviction. And it works. Who's to say the strategy wouldn't work elsewhere?..." see full article

1020 days ago | nationalreview
The Death Penalty Is Just and Merciful - National Review Online

"...Indeed, comparing our differing reactions to capital punishment and life imprisonment is one of the more direct ways to see what lies behind most death-penalty opposition. As Pope Francis has observed, Life imprisonment is a hidden death penalty. His suggestion that we abolish both is rather questionable (taken seriously, it requires parole for Pol Pot, halfway houses for Hitler), but his basic insight is sound. Is it really more barbaric to grant a terrible murderer a dignified death than to force him to live a life of confinement, perhaps to undergo humiliating force-feeding, and then to die in the hands of the state even if not by the state's hand? While some writers have made detailed arguments distinguishing death from other punishments, most people who oppose the death penalty do so based on loose intuitions, about barbarity and humaneness, that should apply with equal perhaps greater force to life imprisonment. That we are ready to accept the latter but not the former reflects that much of the opposition to the death penalty comes not from moral indignation but from aesthetic revulsion. We have undergone not an increase in conscience but an intensification of our squeamishness. We seek bloodless means, however cruel they may be...." see full article

1023 days ago | nbcnews
Nebraska Just Nixed the Death Penalty. Here's Why That's a Big Deal -

"...This is a big deal for three reasons. One, Nebraska becomes the first red state in the country to repeal the death penalty in 40 years (after North Dakota did it in 1973). Two, it comes after at least one national poll (Pew) had found a drop in support of the death penalty. (If you don't think that public opinion on a social issue can change in a hurry, just look at gay marriage.) And three, it comes in the midst of a bipartisan effort -- even among Dem and GOP 2016ers -- to overhaul the nation's criminal-justice system...." see full article

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1025 days ago | qz
This man came from Rome to show Americans why the death penalty is wrong - Quartz
"...Today, 105 countries around the world have abolished the death penalty by law and 43 more have approved public or de facto moratoria against it. Among them are Gabon and Mongolia, Cambodia and Russia, Albania and Kyrgyzstan. In Cuba, death row is currently empty.Worldwide, only a few dozens countries still stick to the death penalty, opposing the 2007 UN resolution that called for a global moratorium on its use. Among them, the most prolific executioners are China, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States, which has killed more than 1,400 people since 1976. Currently, the US holds more than 3,000 people in death row, including recently-sentenced Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev...." see full article

1029 days ago | seattletimes
Death penalty on trial after McEnroe verdict shocker - The Seattle Times
"...What may make this case a bellwether is that some of the jurors were blunt that they just don't really believe in the death penalty. Too many doubts not just about the case but about the law. It's as if they ended up doing a form of jury nullification.Nullification is when jurors let someone off because they think the underlying law is unjust. It's controversial, because juries are instructed to follow the law whether they agree with it or not. But it's also a fact of life of the court system: Juries can and do weigh whether the law itself is right...." see full article

1029 days ago | theblaze
Why Christians Can, And Should, Support the Death Penalty -
"...Yes, we need to have a discussion about the legal system that drags these convictions on for decades and tortures the family of survivors in the process (like in the case of James Thimm).Yes, we need to have a discussion as to why it is that we can successfully put an animal to sleep painlessly in mere seconds, but it can sometimes take excruciatingly long periods of time to execute a human.(While we're at it, we should also have a discussion about how a society can mourn the pain of a monster in the execution chambers, yet look the other way as a baby is torn helplessly from its mother's womb, piece by piece but that's another discussion for another day.)..." see full article

1030 days ago | mtv
The Boston Bomber Got The Death Penalty -- But Is He Too Young To Die? -
"...While the Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional to put anyone under the age of 18 to death, there is still a squeamishness about capital punishment for young people like Tsarnaev. The parents of 8-year-old bombing victim Martin Richards wrote an essay in the Boston Globe, arguing against it in this case. Not for forgiveness' sake, but for their own sanity, and ours...." see full article

1031 days ago | time
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Abolish the Death Penalty - TIME
"...The primary purpose of the death penalty is to protect the innocent. Theoretically, if someone deliberately murders someone else, executing that person protects the rest of us by removing him from society, never again to be a threat. But, as always, there's a big difference between theory and practice. While it's true that the death penalty may protect us from the few individuals it does execute, it does not come without a significant financial and social price tag that may put us all at an even greater risk.First, there's the financial cost. Every society is on a limited budget, and the recent economic recession has forced government on every level to tighten its belts like an 18th century corset. Studies show that the death penalty is more expensive than the alternative, life without parole. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, the average cost of a death penalty case is $1.26 million, compared to $740,000 for a life-without-parole case. In addition, keeping a prisoner on death row costs $90,000 more a year than keeping a prisoner in the general prison population. California alone has spent $4 billion on maintaining the death penalty since its reinstatement in 1978...." see full article

1031 days ago | sltrib
Op-ed: Death penalty is unfair, costly and an ineffective deterrent - Salt Lake Tribune
"...Death penalty cases are much more costly than life without parole, as they trigger a more robust and lengthier legal process at trial with a series of required appeals. In Utah, a 2012 legislative study found that the increased trial costs of administering the death penalty made the punishment $1.6 million more expensive to the taxpayer than the alternative a conservative estimate, since the study did not take into account the increased cost of cases where the death penalty was sought but not ultimately imposed.Utah's numbers are not an anomaly; other states have also found the death penalty to be costly. In California, for example, capital punishment is as much as 20 times more expensive than the alternative of life without parole, with nearby Idaho finding it to be 70 percent more expensive. Given recent public concern over the police use of force, investments in training and body camera technology could be far more helpful to public safety than the protracted judicial process of a few death penalty cases...." see full article

1031 days ago | washingtonpost
Capital punishment's slow death - Washington Post

"...It is difficult to imagine moral reasoning that would support the conclusion that an injustice will be done when, years hence, the death penalty finally is administered to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon terrorist who placed a bomb in a crowd and then strolled to safety. Sentencing to death those who commit heinous crimes satisfies a sense of moral proportionality. This is, however, purchased with disproportionate social costs, as Nebraska seems to be concluding. Nebraska is not a nest of liberals. Yet on Wednesday its 49-member unicameral legislature passed a bill abolishing the death penalty 32 to 15. Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, vows to veto it...." see full article

1033 days ago | seattletimes
Death penalty for Tsarnaev hurts Boston - The Seattle Times
"...Even some conservative states, such as Nebraska, are witnessing serious moves to end the death penalty. Opposition takes several forms: That capital punishment offends the pro-life ethic as forcefully stated by Pope Francis. That executing someone who was wrongly convicted is an unspeakable horror. That the drawn-out and expensive appeals process typically following a death sentence serves no one, including the victims.A discomfiting oddity of capital punishment is that whether and how it is applied depend on the place. The flamboyant cruelties of the Islamic State's beheadings and the antiseptic lethal injections in death penalty states seem variations of the same thing...." see full article

1034 days ago | fltimes
Should death penalty be abolished in America? - Finger Lakes Times
"...If the staunchest death penalty supporters could meet all the inmates on death row, they would probably favor lesser punishments, and occasionally exoneration, for at least some of them. And if the staunchest opponents of capital punishment had to live on death row for any length of time, they would likely be glad when at least some inmates were executed...." see full article

1035 days ago | csmonitor
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sentence comes as attitudes shift on the death penalty - Christian Science Monitor
"...But public attitudes and state policies have been shifting in significant ways regarding the death penalty some of that because of personal beliefs about what critics see as revenge killing by the state, but also because of legal issues and logistical difficulties, including botched executions involving drugs exceedingly difficult to obtain and the continuing string of cases in which individuals long-imprisoned have been found to be innocent...." see full article

1037 days ago | thinkprogress
Former Chief Justice Of Georgia: Abolish The Death Penalty - ThinkProgress
"...For instance, foreign manufacturers have stopped selling drugs used for lethal injections in the U.S., on the grounds that execution is unethical. Medical professionals and pharmacists are now prohibited from participating in executions, further impeding access to lethal injection drugs. And last February, Pennsylvania's governor suspended all executions, stating the system is riddled with flaws, making it error prone, expensive, and anything but infallible. Eighteen states ban capital punishment altogether, while several others have imposed moratoria...." see full article

1040 days ago | elitedaily
Why The US Should Consider Ending The Dealth Penalty
"...However, when you analyze the death penalty, it truly is a hypocritical practice. The state is essentially saying, You shall not kill; if you do, we will kill you. Punishing people by saying they will be subjected to the same act they themselves committed, while seemingly fair, is granting the state undue and unreasonable powers...." see full article

1042 days ago | chicagotribune
Ask death row: No, rotting in prison isn't worse than being executed

"...Except that 166 of Illinois' 167 death row inmates debunked that fallacy. When a transparent referendum offered them at least the prospect of a quick exit, all but one chose ... to rot, suffer and die in prison...." see full article

1042 days ago | newyorker
The Death Penalty Deserves the Death Penalty

"...There have been dozens of accounts of ghastly executions by lethal injection gone wrong, especially since 2011, when sodium thiopental became unobtainable. As states have experimented with new drug combinations, they have introduced new uncertainties about the effects of lethal injection. Nine states have used or plan to use drugs from compounding pharmacies, whose products are not approved by the F.D.A...." see full article

1042 days ago | worldreligionnews
"...The problem arises in the lack of consistency in capital punishment procedures resulting in failed lethal injection attempts. More agony and discomfort than necessary is being brought to an already controversial process, making the last moments of death row inmates truly torturous...." see full article

1042 days ago | norwichbulletin
10 years after execution of Michael Ross, state's death penalty in limbo
"...In fact, the state does not have the ability to execute anyone. The use of the three drugs that were administered to execute Ross has been challenged in court, and in 2011 the state put executions on hold until the challenges are settled...." see full article

1042 days ago | dallasnews
Even in tough-on-crime Texas, death penalty convictions decline
"...On a most basic level, it's simply cost. Many counties just can't afford the expense of a death penalty case and its appeals, which can easily exceed $1 million...." see full article

1042 days ago | depauliaonline
Death penalty in context of an imperfect justice system
"...Certainly, we can understand the rage of a community. Our blood boils when we see someone take advantage of a child in such an unspeakable way. But to say that a community's outrage is the persuading factor in the decision of the court to kill another human defies the purpose of the justice system and succumbs to mob mentality...." see full article

1042 days ago | slate
A Horrifying Day at Court

"...Judges are different in his view; they are always supposed to be above that kind of thing. But as long has been said at the court, death is different too. It seemingly brings out the very worst in us all...." see full article

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