Will the judgement correct the essential injustice? In any case where the death penalty is an issue, the answer to this is ALWAYS no. You cannot unmurder someone.
Will the judgement deter the offender from repeat offense? The death penalty is final. There is no reoffense. Imprisonment can also be final. In theory, Life without parole is final. Reoffense is a critical factor.
Will the judgement deter others from performing the crime? Frankly, this is more reflective of the visibility of conviction vs frequency of the crime in the public eye. If we kill every murderer we catch, but only catch one in twenty, that's not much of a deterrent... And with the visibility of wrongful executions in the public, the deterrence factor is greatly reduced: Who cares if they appear likely to catch and execute the wrong person?
Finally, does the judgement sate our instinctive need for vengance? Death is a terrible option here, imo. It ends when the person dies - and fifty years in a cell trumps five-ten years in a cell while appealing.
When you have an actual mental health issue, the real point is to address point two: Anyone similiar won't be able to reflect on point three enough to make it matter, and point four won't matter because the perpetrator of the crime can't understand what's going on! On the other hand if they 'need killing' because they're amoral in some fashion, point two IS point three and four; the high visiblity of wrongful executions and the lack of suffering the truly amoral face can well lead up to a reason to roll the dice and do it anyway.
Beyond the issue of giving the government the power to annul the right to life, the most fundamental right we have, the death penalty is simply not a superior choice.
Not killing them. Put them in prison until they die of old age, and have that many years to deal with it. The end of life is the end of all possible reflection of guilt and wrong doing, the end of all possible suffering. If our mandate to cause them suffering equal to what they have done to not only their victim, but to those who held the victim dear, then the old standbye of eye-for-eye is woefully insufficient, and I would absolutely not attempt pass along the responsibility for it to anyone other than the perpetrator's fellow humans.Originally Posted by oftheherd1