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Should the death penalty be abolished?

The United States dismissed international calls Tuesday to abolish the death penalty as friends and foes alike delivered their recommendations on how Washington can improve its human rights record.

U.S. State Department legal adviser Harold Koh said capital punishment was permitted under international law, brushing aside long-standing appeals by European countries and others to temporarily halt or completely abolish the death penalty, which critics say is inhumane and unfairly applied.

"While we respect those who make these recommendations, we note that they reflect continuing policy differences, not a genuine difference about what international law requires," Koh told the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council.


Asked by sweet-a-kins at 2:14 PM on Nov. 9, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (37)
  • I would love to see it abolished. I don't believe in it. I don't believe we can justify taking any life, for any reason. It doesn't seem like justice to me, but a kind of vengeful retribution solely for the benefit of those who are victimized or outraged by the victimization. Like a lynch mob, only organized through the justice/legal system....

    It doesn't undo what's done, and it only "spilling more blood", if you get what I mean. I just don't understand how two wrongs make a right. Its less cost efficient and actually an easy way out for the convicted. I think we, especially in our place in the world community, can and should find better ways to handle these situations.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:20 AM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • nope, I believe 100% that they man who killed that woman and her 2 daughters by burning them alive in their house deserves to die

    Answer by peanutsmommy1 at 2:17 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • No way! I just wish it was carried out sooner instead of letting these violent people waste taxpayer's money living on death row for years on end.

    Answer by MomMom23 at 2:20 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • No. My thing with the death penalty always comes back to the speech Matthew McConauhey makes in A Time to Kill. It's not used often enough. Baby Rapers, Rapists, torturers... let them fry. (he says it so much better than I do, and HELLO! Holy hotness!)

    Answer by lovinangels at 2:25 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • I think there are some crimes so reprehensible, so heinous, that the offender has no chance at rehabilitation and does not deserve to rejoin the populace. Serial/spree killers, serial rapists, etc.

    The way I look at it is this: We put down animals that have been deemed too dangerous to remain alive, what makes a "human" animal so much more deserving?

    However, I don't think execution is a viable deterrent against potential crimes. As someone told me once, "If someone wants you dead that bad, they aren't going to CARE about the consequences." And I do believe in some instances the death penalty is applied as punishment for crimes that should not be capital offences. In those respects, I think it's overused and misapplied.

    Answer by geminilove at 2:24 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • In the case, where a man is beaten and left for dead, while his wife is raped and murdered, and his youngest daughter is raped, and both daughters tied to a bed fully conscious while the house is set on fire... I wish the execution of that sick B@stard who killed them would be rougher.

    Answer by wenona_mandy at 2:37 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • I would like to see it abolished, because of the risk of wrongly convicting innocent people, but to be honest this is an issue I don't think about as often as other issues and I definitely have mixed feelings about it. If someone is wrongfully convicted and put to death, and new evidence surfaces, it's too late. I do understand the emotional appeal of it sometimes, especially in cases where the crimes are really horrific and extensive. But, I also believe it violates human rights and it probably should not be ok for the state to kill someone and call it justice. So, generally I would like to see it abolished, but if that won't happen, then at least only used under extenuating circumstances (not as the normal response to each and every murder case).

    Answer by pam19 at 2:42 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • "Have you been to a prison? Everyone says they didn't do it."

    HA! Isn't that the truth! Once someone has to pay the consequence for their actions, they seem to catch amnesia! Unfortunately, the victims and victims' families won't ever forget. I'm for the death penalty, when someone is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for murder and heinous crimes.

    Answer by kenzie07 at 3:09 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • I find it amusing the UN crticizes the US. The US wrote the book on civil rights. Just look at the justice in some other countries..women stoned to death for having sex outside of marriage, men hung because they are gay...

    I support the death penalty. Some crimes deserve no leniency and some behaviors cannot be rehabilitated.

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 2:42 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • The US wrote the book on civil rights

    No...we had a civil rights movement. You're talking about human rights (not one of out strong points).


    Answer by UpSheRises at 2:48 PM on Nov. 9, 2010