The death penalty is certainly an emotional issue that affects many people in numbers of different ways. So in today’s column I will address head-on most of the common arguments that are used in favor of the death penalty, as well as some facts about and responses to them.
Next week I will suggest some additional facts and arguments that should also be considered as we all decide how best to proceed in this critical and emotional area. Of course and as always, I encourage your comments and responses to whatever I say.
Typically, the proponents of the death penalty present five justifications for its implementation. They are that this is the appropriate punishment for the offender of such a serious crime, rightful societal vengeance (often cited as an “eye for an eye”), reducing to zero the chances that the offender will return to society, deterrence against future violations by other offenders, and closure for the families of the victims.