On one hand I worry whenever a human feels they have the power to judge another human, but then there are crimes so heinous that to commit them seems to remove humanness from the criminal and they seem to deserve nothing but death. It just depends on where to draw the line, I personally think if a crime was committed for the sake of the kill and the attack and not because of emotions, by accident, or situational (robbery gone wrong, someone got shot sort of thing) would be an appropriate place to draw the line. Because why pay for someone to live who has no soul? However, there are cases where someone was sentenced to death and died and it was later shown that they were innocent. So I do think that undeniable evidence needs to be present.
There is very little in criminal justice that is black & white, and this is no exception. It's been proven over and over and over again that capital punishment is in no way, shape or form any sort of deterrent. If we're honest with ourselves, capital punishment is really only one thing: revenge. We've basically said it's ok to get revenge when it's the government doing it, and it's never ok to get revenge when it's not the government doing it. Our country's justice system is absolutely built on punishment, rather than on rehabilitation, prevention, or deterrence. That being said, like Andrea, I wholeheartedly support capital punishment under certain circumstances. There are a LOT of people out there who are truly monsters, with no sense of moral compass, and no ability to empathize or connect with other human beings. Those sorts of people cannot be allowed to live in our society. So what is my answer, you ask? I believe in capital punishment when it's handed out SWIFTLY, and JUSTLY. I also wholeheartedly believe that it should be the duty of the injured party (or their remaining loved ones, in most cases), to carry out the punishment. It's really easy to say "That person deserves to die! Kill him, government!" And it's a completely different thing to be the person who carries out the sentence. In a quote from one of my favorite novels, "A Game Of Thrones" by George R. Martin: "...we hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die." So! There's my $.02.
Me? I say killing is killing. I am opposed.
Some people need killing... better it be done after a trial than by a lynch mob.
oh, pro-punishment. definatly! Our world is over populated anyways.