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Comments about ‘National support for death penalty at 40-year low’

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Published: Sunday, Jan. 5 2014 5:00 p.m. MST

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Vince Ballard
South Ogden, UT

Normally I'm pro-death penalty. But our judicial system is so incompetent, inept and swamped by "legal gamesmanship" that guilt versus innocence means less than ever. The odds of putting innocent people to death is probably higher now than at any time in the last century. Until and unless we can fix this problem, I have great misgivings about executing, unless the factual guilt of the person is beyond refute.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

You cannot claim to be against abortion due to the 'sanctity of life'…

while at the same time, be in support of factually ending life, in support of the death penalty.

Well, not if you wish to avoid having a double standard.

Tumbleweed
Centerville, UT

Support for the death penalty is down, it is still at 60%. When a political candidate wins by 60% it's usually considered a political landslide.

Opponents of the death penalty usually point to the cost. This argument is weak for at least two reasons. First, it's the attorneys and judges allowing appeals to go on for ever that push the cost up. Secondly, who is to say, if the death penalty were to be abolished, that life in prison without parole, as the harshest punishment, would not be appealed "until the cows come home?" The reason it's not appealed as much now is because many vicious killers settle for life without parole rather than appealing, because they realize, if they don't settle, they could receive the death penalty. If the death penalty is taken off the table, those sentenced to life without parole, who are settling for it now, will continue to appeal.

It is not inconsistent to be anti-abortion and pro death penalty. Abortion kills the innocent. The death penalty kills heinous murderers. Apply the death penalty only in cases where proof of guilt is conclusive e.g. mass murder with plenty of witnesses.

Mainly Me
Werribee, 00

@Pagan

Sure you can. It isn't a double standard. Abortion kills a perfectly innocent life. A murderer isn't innocent and has forfeited the right to his own life when he takes another.

It makes perfect sense.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

I for retribution. I want to have the future to be better. If some one has the right yo kill me shouldn't I have that same right. What is war about.

Beverly
Eden, UT

This is the list of countries that still use the death penalty: Chine #1., Iraq #2., Yemen #3., Iran #4., and the United States at #5. the Congo is #6. Are we in good company?
Those countries that don't use the death penalty: England, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Norway, etc. Which group of countries is most like us? All of the European Union does not use the death penalty. If our crime rate was lower, I could understand, but it is not lower. It is much higher than all of the countries listed that do not use the death penalty.

Bob A. Bohey
Marlborough, MA

Support for the death penalty is reducing. Support for same sex marriages is increasing. The economy is improving. This is great news for America. So much for all of the chicken little's running around screaming the sky is falling. Well, I guess when you have no plan (GOP) except to rail against the president and do nothing, fear mongering is the only fallback strategy.

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

I support the death penalty for some crimes, but I think it needs to be applied very carefully. And...there is no comparison between the death penalty and abortion.

Kim
Cedar Park, Texas

The Death Penalty is a barbarous vestige of a bygone era. It is way past time that this practice should be ended. Hopefully the Supreme Court will eventually view it as cruel and unusual punishment and declare it unconstitutional. Although largely only used in exceptional murder cases in some states, it is still an affront to our humanity and should be ended. There is no argument that can justify this practice in modern society. Our common humanity cannot support revenge or vengeance as basis for it. How can we ask or require individuals to carry out this sentence?

Strider303
Salt Lake City, UT

"I felt like I had another human being's life in my hands. If I didn't do my job, I would be part of the reason he was killed."

IMHO lawyers, and some judges, see the court as a stage and their "job" an act. The reason Allgier was on trial was for murdering a correction officer and attempting escape. The reason for the death penalty was his, Allgier's, act not the performance of a lawyer.

Have innocent people been executed? Yes. Is life perfect or fair? No.

I object to the legal community using the court and the law to further their Quixotic quest for their own personal brand of justice or fairness at public expense.

I can see life without parole, as defined as life in prison without ever leaving the prison, except in a pine box. That is life without parole.

NeilT
Clearfield, UT

I do support the death penalty in certain instances. Ted Bundy was the perfect example. I do believe it is a silly argument that the death penalty deters crime. The United States has a horrendous murder rate compared to other countries where homicides are rare such as Canada which has no capital punishment. Criminals rarely consider the consequences of their actions. That is why they are criminals.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

@Beverly
Eden, UT

Great point!
I've read the same thing as well.
and let's not forget North Korea, Iran, Sudan, Pakistan and Cuba.

I think we are on the wrong side in this debate.

From a religous stand point,
I can't understand how can any Christian be FOR death penalties,
when they are reminded weeking that Jesus was innocently crucified.

Eliyahu
Pleasant Grove, UT

I am opposed to the death penalty in part due to the large number of death row prisoners who have been proven innocent by DNA analysis and other reviews. Not just "innocent on a meretechnicality" (although I, for one, don't consider the US Constitution and Bill of Rights to be mere technicalities), but factually innocent. If we absolutely must have a death penalty, I would change the standard of proof from "beyond a reasonable doubt" to "beyond any possible doubt".

In the meantime, we find ourselves with distinguished company in maintaining the death penalty, sharing it with countries such as North Korea, Iran and Uganda, the latter having just sustained its death penalty for homosexuality. It's no wonder much of the free world looks upon us a barbarians who live where the State kills people and everyone needs to be armed to survive.

Brahmabull
sandy, ut

Pagan

There is a HUGE difference in killing an innocent fetus and killing a person so evil and so vile that they cannot be helped. How do you not see the difference?

Open Minded Mormon

how can you be christian and for the death penalty? Christians have killed many people in the name of religion - and innocent people have been killed as well. Heck, Laban was killed by Nephi (Book of Mormon) for no reason at all. God wiped out whole cities in the bible because the people are evil. So... I don't see your point.

oldcougar
Orem, UT

I have a hard time understanding how some of you can be so passionate about the sanctity of a criminal's life and have no reservations about taking the life of an unborn child. All life is sacred...even the "inconvenient" ones.

And, a couple of you have tried to subtly infuse this discussion with an anti-gun message. Huh?

My own view is that we are doing a lousy job of administering justice overall. If we are prone to error (executing an innocent person or not executing a guilty person), and if the process of getting a prisoner to execution is more costly than imprisoning them for life, without parole, then we ought to eliminate the death penalty. I'd rather see many murderers receive less punishment than they deserve than see one innocent person executed.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'Pagan
There is a HUGE difference in killing an innocent fetus and killing a person so evil and so vile that they cannot be helped.'

So, EVERY child born will be 'innocent'?

I'm sure people thought that about many of the murderers out there. Hitler, Stalin, etc.

You cannot predict the action of every child born.

As such your claims of 'innocent' children is moot.

As a peson on death row is part of this 'sanctity' of life that many how, are willing to kill.

With a death penalty.

NT
SomewhereIn, UT

I fully support the death penalty - as a matter of justice, not as a matter of deterrance or revenge.

Pagan, come on girl, give it up. Your comparison is so weak.

quickmatch
Oak Park, IL

The abortion/death penalty argument of several comments hinges on an assumed dissimilarity between the innocence of the unborn and the culpability of the murderer. I see two problems.
The first is a secular one: it is given that the unborn are of necessity innocent and the murderer guilty; how does one assure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the individual accused of murder is guilty? I have read dozens of cases in which individuals awaiting execution were exonerated--and cases where the exoneration was proved after the execution. Taking the life of an innocent person is abhorrent and the state must be barred from making that mistake; abandonment of the death penalty is the only certain bar.
The second problem is religious: there is no certainty, other than the mystic of religious belief, that the unborn have souls or when they attain souls. Nor is there any certainty of innocence or guilt of any individual—that certainty lies with God alone. The usurpation of the determination of innocence is an act of hubris, a sin against God.

Anti Bush-Obama
Chihuahua, 00

Leave Death in God's hands. The Government is too evil and corrupt to be the arbiter of life and death.

Anti Bush-Obama
Chihuahua, 00

I don't need some human sacrifice to feel good about myself. If some murderer is making my life miserable, I will look to change myself and not the things I can't control.

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