Near Reeds Spring, Missouri, a 69-year-old man, the man's wife, and their 19-year-old paraplegic grandson were walking along a path. All of a sudden a man in camouflage jumps out of the woods and shoots each of them at point-blank range. The man confessed to the murder and was convicted.
If this man were to be put to death, it would not deter other criminals from killing. According to James McCloskey, writer of "The Death Penalty: A personal View", the death penalty is a failure as a deterrent, because those who commit crimes that deserve the death penalty are often so irrational that even the prospect of death doesn't deter them. The death penalty is an ineffective deterrent, is more expensive than a life sentence, is inhumane, and defies the United States Constitution.
Seventy percent of Americans favor the death penalty, according to an October, 2002 Gallup poll. One reason for this is that they believe that by killing a criminal, justice will be served. Granted, retribution can give family and friends of the victim a feeling of satisfaction for what was done to them. Retribution can also give them some closure so that they can put the horror of a crime behind them. For some victims" families, knowing that a killer is still alive would not allow them to move on with their lives. It is true that murderers serving a life sentences have murdered again. In states with no death penalty, prisoners have murdered prison guards and other prisoners. If you are dead you cannot kill anyone.
Even though the defenders of the death penalty pose interesting arguments, capital punishment for retribution violates the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Although many framers of the Constitution endorsed the death penalty, it is considered cruel when applied to the standards of our time. According to a Supreme Court case, Trop v.