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How is the death penalty worse than a lifetime of imprisonment? If you kill them it's over and you killed them back case closed but, the have the oppertunity for eternal bliss still based on the final judgement of him, right? Improbable maybe but, a chance non the less. What else?

Lifetime in prison gives the person limited to no freedoms, dependent on their behavior in prison, a life time of guilt, if capable of feeling it or if they do regret the crime, a chance to redeem themselves to the family/friends of the victim, be found not guilty and set free, write a book, make music or do work for the prison.

In both cases they won't be able to hurt the public.

So, it's just the value of existence vs freedom with morals thrown in.

January 18, 2012

Response from Andrew Pessin on January 25, 2012

I'm a little unclear on the question -- sounds like you think life in prison is better than death (for the convicted person, anyway), given your list of good things that life in prison allows (but death doesn't). So you already do think the death penalty is worse for the convict than life in prison?

Or are you (implicitly) arguing against the death penalty, by arguing that it's not worse than life imprisonment, and therefore there is no reason to apply it to the worst criminals?

In any case, one consideration that it's worse for the convict to receive death is simply that very many convicted persons simply don't want the death penalty; lots of people are terrified of being killed, and that terror alone makes the prospect of death seem far worse than life imprisonment. (Of course you might argue that this is an irrational fear, but that then takes you off into all sorts of other issues and directions ....)

And if the ultimate concern is whether our society should allow the death penalty, it's worth mentioning that there are many other things in play in addition to 'how bad is death v. life in prison for the convict' -- including issues of justice, of fairness, of the rights of the victims (and victims' families), etc....

Hope that's useful--

ap



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