The Arguments For And Against Capital Punishment

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The Arguments For And Against Capital Punishment

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:


  • 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


  • 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