It's sad that this could have been a fun debate thread and instead we get one person trying to bring down American, because you know that's the only country with the death penalty. Actually though some states execute a large number of people at least it's over something that is acutally a crime against humanity unlike being gay. But yeah, America is evil. Bad Americans. Shame on you, and those Bush cones in Texas.
Like J said there are holes and innocent people have died. Personally I think the death penality should be reserved for repeat offenders. Serial killers. People already in prisons who kill other prisoners. That kind of thing.
It's a whole big moral thing. I was against the death penalty till I studied criminals.
People will always be divided on this. Some are eye for an eye and some would like to see the person suffer for the rest of his life confined in a small cell. I am for life in prison as it seems to be a very effective deterrent against murder when applied well (In Europe for example when compared to USA, Iran, China etc, though without guns available it's normal that we don't have so many murders committed) In France 6 people on life in Prison petitioned to get executed as life in prison is the worst possible punishment according to them. Tells a lot about which is the most effective form of punishment imo.
The only catch is that many criminals who commit sever crimes (the ones you'd get death penalty for) have sociopathic traits and don't feel guilty about what they do. It's not suffering or rotting away it's a paid home away from the rest of the world.
A lot of criminals are also repeat offenders because life in jail is so much better for them in than out. So I don't know if that's really a deterrent for people who just don't care, and know that if they do something bad they'll still be cared for and housed. Their biggest issue will be gangs and even then the prisoners can be separated if they feel they are in real danger.