Five Reasons Conservatives Should Oppose the Death Penalty

3. Botched executions are forms of cruel punishment. The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution specifically states, that “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.” Because botched executions are generally unpredictable, we should be opposed to any method that has a potential to inflict cruel and unusual punishment. Even though a majority of executions are not botched, we should strive to protect the minority from the potential for cruel and unusual punishment. To do this, we must revise our methods, and I propose to conservatives that this would be best served by opposing the death penalty altogether.

4. Innocent people have been executed. According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “if all death-sentenced defendants remained under sentence of death indefinitely at least 4.1% would be exonerated.”[i] If conservatives value defending innocent life, there is but no other option than to abolish capital punishment. Arguments that we should work to decrease that figure miss the point and are self-defeating. If even one innocent life is executed by government, we have committed a great injustice. Hypocrisy also exists in the fact that there is no person or method available to punish the government with capital punishment for taking an innocent life, who only took an innocent life because they declared the innocent “offender” to be guilty of taking life.

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