Next, I'm going to read you a list of issues. Regardless of whether or not you think it should be legal, for each one, please tell me whether you personally believe that in general it is morally acceptable or morally wrong.
How about the death penalty? Morally acceptable Morally wrong Depends vol. Generally speaking, do you believe the death penalty is applied fairly or unfairly in this country today? Why do you favor the death penalty for persons convicted of murder? Why do you oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder?
If you could choose between the following two approaches, which do you think is the better penalty for murder -- [ROTATED: the death penalty or life imprisonment, with absolutely no possibility of parole]? Why do you favor the death penalty for persons convicted of murder? Why do you oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder?
If you could choose between the following two approaches, which do you think is the better penalty for murder -- [ROTATED: the death penalty or life imprisonment, with absolutely no possibility of parole]? Apart from your opinion about the death penalty, what form of punishment do you consider to be the most humane -- the electric chair, the gas chamber, lethal injection, firing squad, or hanging? Do you feel that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to the commitment of murder, that it lowers the murder rate, or not?
How often do you think that a person has been executed under the death penalty who was, in fact, innocent of the crime he or she was charged with -- do you think this has happened in the past five years, or not? Just your best guess, about what percent of people who are executed under the death penalty are really innocent of the crime they were charged with?
Which comes closer to your view -- [ROTATED: states should be allowed to execute prisoners sentenced to the death penalty by means of lethal injection, or lethal injection of death row prisoners represents cruel and unusual punishment that should not be permitted]? They fight to uphold a punishment that is ineffective, costly and long shunned by the rest of the industrialized Western world.
It should shock us to hear that prisoners are now fighting for the right to choke to death in a gas chamber as nitrogen surrounds them, or to be hit by a barrage of bullets , or to be strapped to a chair and electrocuted by decades-old equipment in order to avoid a botched lethal injection. The death row inmates in Tennessee currently asking for death by firing squad are arguing such a death would actually be less painful than what our lethal injection protocol has become.
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If lethal injections were supposedly our last chance for humane, dignified executions, and prisoners are now requesting archaic and barbaric alternatives, at what point do we concede? At what point do we accept that the death penalty has no place in a democratic country that professes to follow the Constitution and care about human rights?
How states are slowly getting rid of the death penalty | PBS NewsHour
She previously worked in criminal justice reform at the Innocence Project in New York. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. The death penalty in America is in crisis. That point is now. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus. Real Life.
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