Colonial period[ edit ] Abolitionists gathered support for their claims from writings by European Enlightenment philosophers such as MontesquieuVoltaire who became convinced the death penalty was cruel and unnecessary  and Bentham.
Click here if you want to be notified when the site has been updated This website is dedicated to the abolition of the death penalty in the USA.
It is not run by an organization, just by me, and I hope that you will find it useful and that it will provide you some food for thought, even if you are a proponent for the death penalty or you oppose it like I do. Welcome and enjoy the stay here.
Niels Graverholt How would you react if somebody raped and murdered your child? I have often been asked this question by supporters of the death penalty, and my answer is: My first reaction would probably be a strong wish to cut the balls off the bastard, to tear him apart and kill him.
But my next reaction would hopefully be gratitude for living in a constitutional state where the principle of personal revenge has been replaced by societies obligation to administer an appropriate punishment and give me the necessary support to get a decent life in spite of my loss.
Why don't you care about the victims and their relatives?. There are four answers to that: The victims are dead, and no execution will make them alive. I've heard many relatives say that they could hardly wait to gain closure by the execution of the murderer - but I have never heard any of them say years later that they really found this closure.
If the dp-proponents really care so much about these relatives, I do not understand why the funding for psychological support for them is so embarrassing low or missing.
How about the relatives of the person being executed? Why don't anybody care about them?
Is it civilized to regard them as outcasts too? How can you feel sympathy for those monsters on death row? I don't feel any special sympathy for murderers or rapists, but although I am not a Christian as many dp proponents claim to be I believe that all human beings deserve forgiveness, even if they have committed terrible crimes, otherwise the christian term forgiveness does not make any sense.
And although it is not at all an excuse, a majority of the death row inhabitants had a terrible childhood - and as it seems that society did nothing to support them at that time, one could consider at least to treat them like human beings now.
What would you do if the streets were as unsafe in your country as they are in many parts of the US? It is understandable that many Americans feel that something drastic has to be done by the violence.
But the dp is definitely not the answer. If all the money that is being spent on the dp were used instead for better child care, education etc, this would provide more safe streets than prisons and the needle do.
But we are talking about a vicious circle, which could eventually lead to the incarceration of the majority of Americans. How about starting to fight the reasons for the crime instead of fighting the criminals.
What right do you have to interfere in the way we solve our problems in America? Human rights and dignity is not merely a national issue. The dp is an obvious violation of international law and treaties, most of which have also been signed by the US.
How can we persuade third world countries to respect human rights as long as 'The Worlds Policeman' violates them? Besides, the US has on several occasions violently gained control over sovereign nations with the alleged aim to guarantee human rights there, so the argument seems rather hypocritical.
Luckily, it seems that an increasing number of American citizens realize that the principle of revenge and the legal killing of human beings is not consistent with a modern civilized society. But unfortunately they are being betrayed by unscrupulous politicians who care more about their personal career and power than about the safety of their constituents and therefore make themselves popular by providing populistic 'solutions' to the problems - like stronger penalties, more death penalties, faster executions etc.
By doing so they neglect the numerous surveys showing that the death penalty does not have a greater deterrent effect than for instance the LWOP Life sentence without the possibility of parole.
And apparently they also ignore their own police chiefs whos belief in the effect of the death penalty is rather limited. Being 'tough-on-crime' has become one of the favourite ways for the American politicians to demonstrate that they are energetic and resolute, and in case their voters should realize the lack of deterrence of the death penalty many of the politicians pretend that it is necessary to provide closure for the families and relatives of the victims, quite an astonishing interpretation of the bible which indicates that these politicians have heard only about the Old Testament.
I think it is embarrassing to watch how cynical politicians abuse the fear among their fellow citizens by using the death penalty in their campaigns and thereby sacrificing human lives in their struggle to gain political power, like when governor Bill Clinton during his primaries campaign in New Hampshire in announced that he had to go back home to Arkansas to be there at the execution of Rickey Ray Rector, a black inmate who was so retarded that he asked the staff on death row to put the dessert from his last meal aside so that he could have it after his execution.
And Rector is only one of many mentally retarded who have been sentenced to death. Not to speak of the mentally ill. Emile Duhamela severely mentally ill death row inmate, died in the beginning of July on Texas death row.
Duhamel could not understand where he was or what it meant to be executed. An inmates whos mentally illnes makes it unconstitutional to kill them, are being medicated by force so that their mind can be clear long enough for them to understand what the hangman is doing to them.
One thing is that American politicians - in spite of all international laws and treaties and critics from the U. It is also done without much effort to guarantee a fair trial for the defendant. Unless you are an O. Simpson and have the money to hire a dream-team you are in deep trouble if you are being charged with a capital crime as your risk of having an ineffective defense counsel is quite considerable.
And with new rules for review of death penalty cases the politicians have minimized your chances to have your sentence overthrown, even if you are able to provide new evidence demonstrating your innocence.A landmark dissenting opinion arguing against the death penalty. Does the death penalty violate the Constitution?
In Against the Death Penalty, Justice Stephen Breyer argues that it does; that it is carried out unfairly and inconsistently and, thus, violates the ban on "cruel and unusual punishments" specified by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.
America's morbid fascination with the death penalty. Ever since certain people came to this land from elsewhere back in the day, and before this land began as a country, the death penalty in all of its various and hideous forms has been used against poor people and minority peoples for any and all reasons - and for no reason at all.
The tide is turning against the death penalty. Increasingly, countries and states are banning the death penalty; drug companies are refusing to allow their products to be used for capital punishment; the U.S. is executing fewer people; and public support for the death penalty is waning.
Capital punishment is a legal penalty in the United States, currently used by 30 states, the federal government, and the military. Its existence can be traced to the beginning of the American colonies. The United States is the only Western country currently applying the death penalty.
It is one of 54 countries worldwide applying it, and was the first to develop lethal injection as a method of. The Death Penalty Information Center has released a major new report, Behind the Curtain: Secrecy and the Death Penalty in the United States, examining the scope and consequences of secrecy in the application of the death penalty in the United initiativeblog.com report, released on November 20, , tells the story of the expansion of execution secrecy and the questionable practices that states have.
Capital punishment debate in the United States existed as early as the colonial period. As of it remains a legal penalty in 31 states, the federal government, and military criminal justice systems.