The Center on Wrongful Convictions at the Northwestern University School of Law compiled a list of 39 individuals who were executed despite doubts about their guilt.
Critics of the death penalty argue that even if one innocent person is executed, it is one too many. The death penalty is only fair if we're 100 percent sure the state is only executing those who deserve it. It's been shown time and again that states, for a variety of reasons, have put innocent people to death.
"We certainly can’t say there is a deterrent. We can’t say there is not either," said Marc Mauer, the executive director of The Sentencing Project, adding that the lack of evidence was itself worth considering. "I think at the very least the fact that there’s certainly no reason to believe there’s a significant deterrent effect should give pause."
The death penalty is a form of punishment fundamentally incompatible with human rights (and is proven not to deter crime either).
Critics argue that if the death penalty has little to no real world impact, the practice should end purely on economic costs. In Kansas, it costs twice as much to keep someone on death row compared to housing a criminal within the normal prison population. If our prison and justice system is constantly underfunded, it does not make sense to keep an ineffective and highly expensive punishment as law.
Even aside from the moral component, abolishing the death penalty - which does not deter crime - saves hundreds of millions of dollars. https://t.co/vuLJHuwJIc
Supporters of the death penalty say the voice of the victims is often lost during debates about the death penalty. For some families, the only way to get closure or peace is by knowing the person who took their loved one away is dead. Punishment isn't just about crime deterrence, it is about a real sense of justice.
I am in favor of bringing death penalty back. Justice is not for all but only for the innocents and for the victims #JusticeForNick
Supporters also argue the death penalty is used in ways beyond executions. The possibility of the death penalty gives prosecutors leverage to reach better plea bargains and get the criminal to give up important information. If the death penalty is taken away, it removes a useful tool from the justice system
@nytimes I still support it. Don't forget using the death penalty as leverage to get criminals to cooperate with investigations.