1. News & Issues

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Readers Respond: Why Should the U.S. Abolish the Death Penalty?

Responses: 123


Pro death penalty

I've read a response that two wrongs don't make a right... How stupid, nobody is trying to make a right. How can we teach people not to kill by killing, also stupid, nobody is trying to teach. The consitution does not protect the innocent from cruel and inhumane punishment, only criminals. News reports are filled with stories of cruel and inhumane punishment at the hands of criminals. When convicted they should lose their constitutional rights and be treated like the low lifes that they are. Criminals should die in the same mannner as their victims.
—Guest pro death penalty

Meet in the middle

In my book, it's the death penalty or a life senence in jail. In both, the chance of them commiting any more crimes is nonexistent, so why not make everybody happy ? Life sentence it is. Killing criminals makes the state no better than the criminal they're killing.
—Guest melita

Innocent people may die

Four percent of convicted people are innocent, Do more innocent people have to die for us to understand that the death penalty is wrong and irreversible?
—Guest Henry

Human philosophy

What goes around comes around. Human beings, in time, can get used to anything. So why should people who decide to take another person's life be pussyfooted with handcuffs and just set them in a jail cell and left there to rot? Why should they be given a chance to live when they went and took that right away from someone else? If you say they can change and they're are sorry: kids say that all the time to get away with the wrongs they do and now we are letting them off easy. This would make anyone want to commit a crime more then anything, iIf you could get away with it, would you do it? Why should the ones who live be given a break while the ones who were killed not?
—Guest richard


We say it's wrong to kill, but then we turn around and put the death penalty on people? Shows how well our governement runs.
—Guest Shelby

Choice for the Death Penalty

Think about it: would you want to be in jail for the rest of your life? Or would you want to die? Some of the people executed don't have family and/or friends who care at all, so they don't have anything at all to look forward to forever. I'm sure some of them would want to die and maybe be given a second chance by God in heaven. But some of the people sentenced to the death penalty do have family or friends who care about them, so they look forward to visits and have a reason to live. I don't think capital punishment should be legal inless the inmate wants to be executed. It should be their choice. However they should only get an option of picking if they did something horrible like murder or child molestors. This way somebody that did something little like maybe got a DUI a couple times couldn't be stupid and want to die because they are depressed.
—Guest LittleHippo22


I came to this site looking for further evidence to support my theory that death penalty is just, but after reading the article, I am now convinced that a death penalty would not do anything to improve society
—Guest arizor

They deserve to die

If people kill others, why should they live? All that's going to happen is they're going to be released from jail and will kill again. Once a killer always a killer, so kill them before they kill again.
—Guest garrett

The death penalty and amendment rights

I am doing a report over a Constituntional issue. I am strongly against the death penalty. I have found out through research that many people on death row either never get executed (THANK YOU!) But many are. Really think about it-- In the Bible it says "You shall not kill." Yet that is what we are doing every time we send someone to their death. The 8th amendment clearly states that "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." So as I understand it, as a 14 year old girl, the death penalty is unconstitutional and needs to be abolished.
—Guest Me

You're not looking at the whole picture

More than 85% of prisoners who are released from jail for rehabilitation will once again commit crimes. Just kill the bastards and be done with it.
—Guest ashley

Counter arguments

To Penalty7, please. Anyone who lives in society knows that killing is wrong. If "poor, abused" people want to kill, they should stifle the urge. Yes, most convicted murderers, rapists, etc. have terrible, terrible pasts, but that does NOT take away their responsibility for their actions. If it did, people who do good deeds don't deserve to be rewarded because it was just their upbringing that brought it about. To Dee, no, many (if not most) convicted felons cannot be reformed. Many in prison are not there for the first time or even the second. There have been serial killers, and rapists released because they had supposedly reformed who went right back into it. Look at Zimbardo's prison experiment: the situation dictates our actions. In other words, even if someone has reformed in prison, if he has the chance to commit the crime again, he likely will
—Guest Lotus

Pro Capital Punishment

The death penalty likely won't deter many other criminals who commit atrocities, but it will stop those same people from committing them again and give closure to the loved ones of the victims. Imagine if someone like Lawrence Bittaker still lived and was released on parole. Guess what? That happened. And he went back to his life of crime (but worse). Considering how much laws about parole keep changing, I wouldn't trust the criminal justice system to keep monsters off the streets (since they often let them out for "good behavior"). The government is not a person. It does not commit murder. It enforces its laws and protects its citizens. The government sentencing someone to death does not encourage murderers into thinking they can take a life too.
—Guest Steph

racism issue

The selection of those who are given the death penalty in comparison to those receiving life in prison is unjust. According to the ACLU, the average odds of receiving a death sentence among all indicated cases were 4.3 times higher in cases with white victims. In the 1980s and 1990s, despite women committing 18 percent of homicides, only one percent of those on death row were women. A double standard exist in capital punishment. Minorities are discriminated against and women are treated at a more favorable standard. Unless capital punishment is equal for all races and genders, it must be abolished.
—Guest furtherinsight

From the viewpoint of a 13 yr old

Did you know that 4% of all the people executed were innocent? It's the solid truth. Out of 100 people, 4 were innocent. Does that strike you as unfair? It strikes me that way.
—Guest Guest

Go for it

Worldwide capital punishment should be accelerated to include child molesters, rapist and murders. One thing I have concern about is about the proper trainning and procedures for executions and lethal injections. Another concern is proving them guilty 100%. If they committed a crime as big as this, though, they should take the punishment. There are people who say this is inhuman, but it isn't inhuman when they commit a crime of raping which takes a woman's or man's dignity, taking a innocent child's innocence, or murdering a person. I also believe if we kept stricter rules for prisoners, there be less crimes.
—Guest babichek3077

©2015 About.com. All rights reserved.