The death penalty should, in my oppinion, not exist because of a simple reason. It is immoral!
When the choice stands between killing a convict or locking him away for the rest of his life it is quite obviously the moral choice to lock him away. It acheives the same thing i.e. keeping him from doing harm to society, and without robbing him of his right to live. There’s another reason aswell: it’s not a deterrent. Murder, which is the only crime punishable by death in the US (as far as I know), is commited for one of three reasons: Profit, Compulsion and Passion.
Profit: this kind of murderer is very calculating and cold and is therefore sure that he will not be cought. Plus the “reward” is worth the risk for him.
Compulsion: this kind of murderer cannot be deterred because it is a compulsion. Being cought doesn’t even exist in the mind of this kind of murderer.
Passion: the kind of murder when, for example, a husband comes home and finds his wife in bed with someone else. He is gripped by an uncontrollable rage and so kills them, or atleast one of them. No deterring effect there either..
This is why the death penalty is both immoral and quite useless and a third reason, just because: if an innocent person is ever convicted and executed the entire population becomes murderers (or atleast those who are in favour of the death penalty, (I’m not really sure there)), is it really worth the risk?? Chances are that it may actually have happend already..