Capital Punishment

Civilized nations have abandoned state murder. Hopefully the United States will join the ranks of the civilized nations of the world.

Death Penalty - Two little words that mean the legal act of committing murder. 

The only time killing is "justified" is as a last resort in direct self-defense.

On Killing prisoners: Killing prisoners is morally unacceptable. Killing in time of war is "justified"  according to the threat presented by an enemy combatant. Killing an enemy in combat may be "justified" on a similar basis as justification for killing in self defense outside of war. A prisoner no longer presents the threat used to justify killing in war.  Killing prisoners is murder, pure and simple.  It is immoral.  It was Hitler's most heinous crime.

According to the Geneva Convention, prisoners of war who have surrendered cannot be tortured, plundered or killed.  The murder of defenseless prisoners is rightly considered to be a war crime. 

What some have said about judicial homicide:  

Since I was a law student, I have been against the death penalty. It does not deter. It is severely discriminatory against minorities, especially since they’re given no competent legal counsel defense in many cases. It’s a system that has to be perfect.  You cannot execute one innocent person. No system is perfect. And to top it off, for those of you who are interested in the economics it, it costs more to pursue a capital case toward execution than it does to have full life imprisonment without parole.   

- Ralph Nader   Meet the Press interview, Jun. 25, 2000 

"Capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders."   -Albert Camus, French philosopher 

"Imposition of the death penalty is arbitrary and capricious. Decision of who will live and who will die for his crime turns less on the nature of the offense and the incorrigibility of the offender and more on inappropriate and indefensible considerations:
the political and personal inclinations of prosecutors; the defendant's wealth, race and intellect; the race and economic status of the victim; the quality of the defendant's counsel; and the resources allocated to defense lawyers." 
-Gerald Heaney, former appellate judge   

"To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice."   Desmond Tutu 

"The most glaring weakness is that no matter how efficient and fair the DP may seem in theory, in actual practice it is primarily  inflicted upon the weak, the poor, the ignorant and minorities."    -Pat Brown, former CA governor  

"I have yet to see a death case among the dozen coming to the Supreme Court on eve-of-execution stay applications in which the defendant was well represented at trial...  People who are well represented at trial do not get the death penalty."  
-Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court Justice   

"I think this country would be much better off if we did not have capital punishment....
We cannot ignore the fact that in recent years a disturbing number of inmates on death row have been exonerated."  
 -John Paul Stevens, U.S. Supreme Court Justice