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Debating the Death Penalty

DW-WORLD readers share their views about the death penalty after the 1,000th person was executed in the US Friday since capital punishment became legal again in 1976.

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Still used to execute people around the world

The following comments reflect the views of our readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

I am against death penalty, because it is official terrorism. -- rmueller

I personally do not like the idea of capital punishment but I do believe, as a Christian, it is biblical. -- n ivjude

I think there are some things that the death penalty is okay for -- rape, homicide and kidnapping. When people did the same wrong thing twice I think it is okay to kill them. -- ary_pezzo

Few executions each year, for drug smuggling and/or dealing, would definitely improve our way of life in the US. The societal costs of lenient drug enforcement, coupled with "free" trade and physically open borders, are negatively impacting all of our citizens. Unfortunately, a small percentage of sociopaths need to be severely disciplined to discourage the others who find easy pickings in our permissive atmosphere. -- Joh n Schuler , US

The existence of the death penalty is the largest shame on the US. No government has the right to take the life of a human being. Even if there could be a crime evil enough to justify the death penalty, the risk of executing one innocent person is sufficient to ever execute any deserving person. -- theokeet

It is interesting to note that the Roman Catholic Church (and many liberal Protestant groups) in the United States have tended to oppose capital punishment as inconsistent with its pro-life stance. The most vocal proponents of capital punishment tend to be conservative Protestants. These same Protestants also tend to subscribe to a vision of the state as "promoting the good and punishing the evil." Their different visions of what the church and state are and of their proper roles are that causes a political divide. -- jlmagruder

Taking human life should not be a human-made decision, except perhaps in specific medical circumstances. One cannot justify it rationally, so long as life is more important than any arbitrary twists of rationality. True, punishments may have a great value, but they should issue from a court of justice which endorses a reformatory, life-asserting vision of humanity. And apropos, politics and justice have been -- perhaps unfortunately -- different ventures from that of medicine; the latter essentially aims at life-preservation. -- rossrouss

I am an American who supports the use of the death penalty. I believe that there are crimes where the death penalty should be used, such as pre-meditated murder and terrorism where the prisoner will never be "rehabilitated." I certainly believe that we should improve the application of the death penalty, but still believe that it is a useful tool in the criminal justice system. -- Ed

The death penalty is not an inhumane method of capital punishment. Everywhere, people often talk about "human rights" but most, if not all, have no conception of its real meaning. If a drug dealer took the life of my son or daugther do you call that humane or inhumane? If someone shot and killed my son or daughter with a gun, do you call that humane or inhumane? Stop and think! Why should we free the criminals? Why should we spend more resources in an attempt to rehabilitate them? If someone killed my son or daughter, that person should be killed too. -- ze n ovatio n

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