Argument: Life imprisonment does not repudiate murder like capital punishment

Issue Report: Death penalty


Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe Columnist. “The feeble ‘arguments’ against capital punishment”. Jewish World Review. 19 June 2001 – ‘The loss of freedom for the remainder of one’s life is no mild punishment,’ James Bernstein of New York wrote to the Times. ‘We do not need the death penalty to express society’s utter repudation of those who would take the lives of others.’

Bernstein has it exactly wrong. A society that bans the death penalty outright is confirming that it does not utterly repudiate its worst murderers. The United States last week made clear just how seriously it regards McVeigh’s monstrous crime. Change the law so that no future McVeigh can be put to death, and the United States will be sending a different message: Mass murder isn’t that bad.

Peter Bronson. “Death Penalty Guards What is Valued Most”. International Herald Tribune. 8 Mar. 2001 – I have heard all the arguments against capital punishment. Most are easily dismissed. There are hundreds of good arguments for capital punishment in every state that has a death penalty. They kill time in prison cells, waiting for a death that is always more humane than the cruel and unusual ways they murdered innocent men, women and children.[1]