Ohoho, here's an opinion that's split on Facepunch.
Here's my opinion;
Death penalty is the most middle-aged backwards thing that exists in Western countries today. The concept of taking a life in so called "justice" is the most ironic and blatantly irrational nonsense I have ever heard.
1) You are lowering yourself to the murderers level. You are taking a sacred human life. Something with a heart, a brain and conscious thought. You are effectively becoming what you despise, and if you don't realize that then you might as well be as cold as the murderer himself.
2) Revenge in itself is a backwards thing in my opinion. You have to take the emotional aspect out of a sentence if you are to achieve true, proper safety and justice. A murderer, thief, rapist or any other person should be kept away from society to keep society safe, until he/she is no threat to society. What happens to him in prison should be of no relevance to any victims. The crime committing person is still a person, and should god damn well be treated like one.
3) "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" - Gandhi said that, possibly one of the worlds wisest men. And trust me, this is true. To move a tad away from death sentences, American prisons are in general horrid. Personally, I think the perfect prisons in the world is the one in Scandinavia. Nice apartment for the convicts, maximum 21 year sentence and a good dose of rehabilitation. Not only are we teaching them to be better humans, it also works.
In the US around 60% of criminals re-commit after being released from prison, in Norway that number is one of the lowest in the world - 20% - Future murders, rape e.t.c. prevented.
Now, I know this isn't about the death penalty, but it goes under the same category - if anything the death penalty doesn't make criminals too afraid to commit a crime. Instead it teaches them to hate their government.
4) Some times innocent people are convicted with the death penalty, and only later it is found out that they are innocent. There are always variables. Lying witnesses, falsified evidence or pure chance guarantees that there is no way of being sure that the person in question is guilty. And even if he is, he does NOT deserve it.
5) Surprisingly (according to what I've read) it is much cheaper to incarcerate for a lifetime then it is to execute. It is two to five times more expensive to execute then to keep someone in prison for 80 years in fact. Because of the appeals, attorneys, lawyers, required procedures e.t.c.
6) It wastes tons upon tons of resources. Takes up days in courts, making the entire justice system slow down.
7) It sends the wrong message to the country. Why kill people to show that killing is wrong?
8) Members of the jury may plead innocent as to protect people from the death penalty, hence sending murderers onto the streets.
9) Can you imagine the effects this will have on the convicts family and friends?
10) I fail to see how killing someone actually helps anyone.
11) Mentally ill people who need treatment may be killed instead.
There are 11 reasons for why the death penalty needs to be abolished from the world as we know it. There is no logic in the death penalty, only emotion. And emotion should not rule a people.
...and there's my opinion. You go.