Sarah, I just saw on the news that California leads the U.S. in number of people on death row.
My feelings on the death penalty is that certain crimes merit it. I personally do not like the idea of killing another human being, but I was raised to believe that you had to pay for your sins or crimes and also, "an eye for an eye". My husband has spent his entire adult life in law enforcement.
I have seen and heard a multitude of heinous crimes that deserve the death penalty. I could give horrible examples but I won't because I'm afraid that some people would be sickened or terrified by the details.
For people who commit those crimes, I think it is unjust that we, the people, have to support the criminal for the rest of his (or her) life. And for what purpose? They will never be free and there is no chance for a future outside prison. The cost per inmate, for food, clothing, medical, educational expensives is attrociously high.
I think the money can be better spent on preventative programs for youngsters who begin a life of crime as juveniles. Our prisons would not be overcrowded. We would not be wasting resources on hopeless, incorrigible criminals who commit those heinous crimes.
For anyone who thinks some crimes are not heinous to warrant the death penalty, they obviously have never been part of a family who was been torn apart by a horrible crime. I would much rather see programs that would help prevent people from going so far as rape, torture, murder.
We should try to rehabilitate character and personality defects, drug addicts, saddists, thieves and others when they first become part of the legal system rather than wait for them to become a statistic.