When someone takes a life, the balance of justice is disturbed. Unless that balance is restored, society succumbs to a rule of violence. Only the taking of the murderer's life restores the balance and allows society to show convincingly that murder is an intolerable crime, which will be punished in kind. Retribution has its basis in religious values, which have historically maintained that it is proper to take an "eye for an eye" and a life for a life.
The death penalty alone imposes an irrevocable sentence. Once an inmate is executed, nothing can be done to make amends if a mistake has been made. There is considerable evidence that many mistakes have been made in sentencing people to death. Since 1973, at least 88 people have been released from death row after evidence of their innocence emerged. …
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