I live in Britain, which as you probably know doesn't have capital punishment. How many of you are for it, and how many against? My own opinion is absolutely no, but then that's just me. The only time this came up, was in M.S. class, and I was the only person that thought it was wrong.

If you can be bothered to know what I think (I can’t see why you would). There was a case here in Britain about fifty years ago, (I can’t remember the names) two friends were escaping across a roof. They were cornered by the police, one drew a gun, the one behind (who was young (I can’t remember how young)) told the one with the gun to “let them have it”. The friend fired and killed four policemen. In court the person who shouted out was accused of egging on (don’t know legal term) and was hanged. He was later cleared, but only after he was killed. In my opinion, if just one innocent person is killed, you can’t do it.

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I find that view to be quite disturbing.
You said it yourself, that you "would feel it was deserved" for the killer to die. Yet you wouldn't want it. How is that not fucked up? So he spends the rest of his life in prison... doing what? Bragging about the murders. Potentially hurting and/or killing other inmates, who may be serving time for lesser crimes that did not involve causing physical harm to others. You'd rather let him live, and give him the potential to commit further acts of violence. I find that disturbing.
So we should base our criminal justice system on knee-jerk reactions instead of rationality?
The problem is that execution is permanent. You can't take it back if you find out you made a mistake. Until we have a nearly perfect system (which we are nowhere close to having) you have to compare the risk of killing an innocent person by mistake versus the dangers of keeping the guilty alive. I'd weigh the lives of the potential innocent much higher than the costs of keeping the guilty alive.

At least for me. Some people have more morally-based objections, I'm sure.
"So we should base our criminal justice system on knee-jerk reactions instead of rationality?"

What's knee-jerk about a murder trial? Do you know how long those usually take? And what's irrational about not wanting to give a killer/rapist the potential to commit further acts of violence? I'd call that rational forethought based on a history of violence within the United States prison system.
My wife and I have an agreement. If either of us or our son is murdered and the death penalty is sought we will not cooperate.l
Also, you should look up the study done in the Midwest where a college tested the DNA of an entire prison's death row (those in after DNA testing) and found a significant number were innocent. Even with DNA testing there are variables that make certainty impossible.
Which is why victims families are not making the decisions.
What I want has no bearing on what is right.
I'm against an absolute (and irreversible) form of punishment without an absolute certainty of guilt. Of course I'm also of the opinion that a life-time in prison is a worse fate than being dead. Then again I'm also against a lot of the early release and parole situations we end up with here in the US.

I'm fine for the death penalty in cases of confessed guilt to a crime or an overwhelming preponderance of evidence. We acquit on a reasonable doubt, we should only kill when there is none. One innocent being put to death by the state is one too many.
My objection is moral. How can the government say that killing is wrong and then they do it?
The problem with confessed guilt is that often confessions are actually incorrect: shy of physical abuse the police are allowed to use just about any method to get a confession out of you, this often results in false confessions.




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