Not a single member of the of the European Union supports capital punishment. And no one would argue that European society is not civilized. .
The death penalty is not a requirement for a modern, civilized society. The United States does not need such a punishment to function. In truth it is probably harming the U.S foreign policy. (Last year, while on a visit to Spain, President Bush struggled for an answer when faced with abolitionist protesters.) Most nations in the world view capital punishment as cruel and barbaric. And the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment". How the leader of the free world can get away with such cruelty is hypocritical. .
Granted, crime in the United States is more prevalent than in the European Union. But it is not so uniquely different that it warrants capital punishment. .
I seriously doubt the deterrent value of the death penalty. I have seen very little proof supporting this punishment. In researching this question, facts I have gained demonstrate that the death penalty does little if anything to deter crime. Many crimes are done in the heat of passion. It is doubtful that criminals stop and weigh the advantages and disadvantages immediately before committing a capital crime. If all murderers seriously thought about what he or she was about to do, life in prison would be enough of a deterrent. Some may have a change of heart even. However, most criminals do not believe they will get caught. Most believe themselves to be too clever for the bumbling law enforcement. Even if caught, many have faith in the incompetence of the judicial system, believing they will slip through the system, get off, or get a light sentence with early parole. If anybody seriously believed they would be quickly caught and sentenced to die, crime may just decrease. .
The death penalty is not a punishment, but rather retribution, for the crime done.