Liberals typically do a horrible job of trying to turn conservatives against the death penalty. Here are some examples of largely refuted arguments that need to be put to rest:
Argument a): ″If you are pro-life, shouldn′t you be against the death penalty?″
The distinction is pro-innocent-life.
Argument b): ″If killing is wrong, why is it okay when the state does it?″
Murder is wrong, but not all killing is murder. Go look up the definition of murder if you have trouble with this. Sometimes, the government has to kill bad people. Did we win World War II by being assertive and understanding with Nazis?
Argument c): ″France and Germany don′t have the death penalty, and they have a lower murder rate than the US.”
Singapore and Japan have the death penalty, and they also have a lower murder rate than the US. America has a higher violent crime rate than other industrialized countries for a whole lot of reasons that have nothing to do with gun control or the death penalty.
Argument d): ″It′s not an effective deterrent.″
This would depend on the individual because some people fear death while others don′t care if they die, but the recidivism rate for executed criminals is 0%.
Here is the argument that liberals should use more: The death penalty is more expensive than a life sentence without parole.
Maybe liberals hate arguing against programs on the basis of cost because that puts their favorite programs in jeopardy. Nobody but the government can make the act of killing a person so complicated and expensive. Somehow this country has arrived at a point where sticking a needle in a guy and injecting him with three different drugs is considered the most humane way to kill him. It will take decades of Republican appointments to the Supreme Court before good old fashioned hangings can make a comeback. The death penalty is such a bureaucratic mess at this point that death row inmates are more likely to die from natural causes than lethal injection.
What really drives up the cost of the death penalty is the trial and appeals process. A death penalty trial can cost five times as much as a regular murder trial. About the only mitigating factor cost wise is that prosecutors will keep the death penalty on the table until a plea bargain is reached.
State and local governments absorb the costs of these death penalty cases. This can lead to budget crunches. While police officers are being laid off, a state can spend over $1 million on a single murder case that was solved 20 years ago.
The death penalty should be reserved for the absolute worst people: terrorists and mass murderers. These cases are handled on the federal level. Yes, federal deficit spending is a problem, but the entire Bureau of Prisons budget makes up a minuscule portion of the entire federal budget. For better or for worse, the federal government is better able to absorb the costs of administering the death penalty than state governments.
I propose that state governments put a moratorium on the death penalty. The federal government should retain the option of executing the very worst offenders.