The heated debate over capital punishment has been reignited after the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma, in which the inmate suffered what has been described as a tortured death at the hands of the state, having succumbed to a heart attack 43 minutes after an untested combination of drugs was injected into his bloodstream. Here are the leading arguments for and against the death penalty:

FOR

  • Every now and then you get a guilty one
  • Last meals often inmates’ only chance to have king crab legs
  • Hammurabi’s Code has never steered civilization wrong before
  • Deterrent effect on those considering snapping and killing family in blind rage
  • Your constituency is pretty gung ho about it
  • Bestows much-needed closure for executioners

AGAINST

  • Better for prisoner to be fully rehabilitated over course of seven consecutive life sentences
  • We don’t get to watch
  • Prevents brutal rapists and murderers from being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment
  • Wasn’t a huge fan of victim
  • Squanders tax dollars that could be better used to build larger, scarier prisons
  • Prosecuting attorney already living with guilt of knowing he falsely imprisoned someone