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September 21st, 2011
04:34 AM ET

Talk Back: Is it time to re-think the death penalty?

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From CNN's Carol Costello:

Troy Davis, convicted cop killer, will be executed by lethal injection tonight despite protest and assertions of his innocence from Amnesty International, the Pope and President Jimmy Carter.

Whether you agree with them is up to you, but Davis' case aside, American juries seem increasingly reluctant to see any inmate put to death, preferring life without the possibility of parole instead.

Although it's unclear as to why, their reluctance may be due to the fact that more than 130 people have been released from death row with evidence of their innocence since 1973.

Talk Back: Is it time to re-think the death penalty?

Let us know what you think. Your response could be read on our program.

Filed under: AM Talk Back
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Caroline

    I have always agreed with the death penalty, just read the transcript of that horrible crime in CT. That family were victims of such evil. My heart goes out to the Doctor for his loss.

    September 21, 2011 at 8:35 am |
  2. Alex

    They should re-think their decision. If Troy Davis is truly the killer then the victims family is no better than him … murderers. How can they go to sleep at night thinking that today they took a life??? That’s not murder? At least don’t sentence Troy Davis to death, let him serve a life sentence in prison …. but not KILL HIM! Taking a life will bring another back!!! I just don’t understand how this is justice when sending someone to death. If someone committed murder then death is not a punishment, is just a way of getting away from it. I would consider a harsher punishment life into a max security prison being lockup 23 out of 24 hours for life!

    September 21, 2011 at 8:34 am |
  3. chris sinner

    Man i get so tired of americans who want to do away with things like this... We not only should have more death penaltys, but we should have much stricter laws on things like murder, molestation, rape and on meth!!! I know if people who were hurting children knew that they will recieve the death penalty, they would not be doing it anymore... We need to be tougher and not accept or have any laws protecting these people... We need more executions not less!!! Man this is such a stupid question of the day, why ask this ?????

    September 21, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • Tony D

      I agree 100% Chris.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:39 am |
  4. Aan Lee

    If police kill unarmed civilian, they never get in death penalty but only being fire. Beside, God never kill men directly if he/she kill someone as Cain killed Habel. I can't believe conservative state such as Texas and Georgia that so called state that obey and put God first has so much blood thirsty and do not apply what would God does if someone killed somebody. These state also never put death penalty for police that kill unarmed innocent people.

    September 21, 2011 at 8:30 am |
  5. Tony D

    If we executed the death penalty in the same manner that the crimes were committed, then it might be a deterent. It you killed an innocent person by stabbing, sentence that person to death by stabbing. If you kill someone by burning them, burn that criminal. Letting the criminal experience what they have done to their victims would be ultimate justice!

    September 21, 2011 at 8:24 am |
  6. donald belton

    putting the racial issue aside MURDER IS MURDER.
    2 wrongs don't make a right.
    I'm 4 life in prison.

    September 21, 2011 at 8:07 am |
  7. Samantha

    Am I the only one who thinks that the government having this kind of power is....creepy? America already incarcerates the more people than anywhere else in the world (besides Russia), and has at least half a dozen levels of policing. The cost of keeping a child in school is $10,000 a year, the cost of incarcerating them is $30,000 a year, and an execution varies a lot but with the entire structure set up to deal with them there is no way to execute someone easily or cheaply. We could be preventing crime by investing in people before they turn bad. I heard a comedian liken a Texan Governor's approach to abortion and the death penalty to a fisherman's mentality:" Throw them back when they're little, get them when they're bigger."

    September 21, 2011 at 7:59 am |
  8. I.J. (Washington D.C.)

    When witnesses recant, when jurors are convinced based on facts they made a mistake and when no evidence exists to meet the "without reasonable doubt" standard, I would argue we should not convict, and we certainly should not execute. The willingness of the prosecutors and the Georgia parole board to ignore the virtual collapse of the case against Troy Davis shows how the decision to impose the death penalty in this case has become unhinged from any real sense of justice. But even if the evidence against Davis was rock solid, the death penalty is the wrong response from society. Life without parole forces the criminal to live with the consequences of his or her actions.

    September 21, 2011 at 7:45 am |
  9. Nate

    "Capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders."
    -Albert Camus

    September 21, 2011 at 7:45 am |
  10. Steve in Maryland

    When there's doubt, we should, but when you read about the Conn. home invasion case, life in prison isn't enough!

    September 21, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  11. Sue Germain

    A civilized society does not kill it's citizens. Those who claim to be christians and are proponents of the death penalty need to read their bible. Rethink the death penalty? No, we need to repeal the death penalty and stop looking like savages to the world.

    September 21, 2011 at 7:40 am |

    Death penalty or not, if someone is convicted of a crime serious enough to get a sentance of "life without the possibility of parole", they should be SEVERELY PUNISHED, not just sequestered from society. What happened to "Doing Hard TIme" and "Chain Gangs"?

    September 21, 2011 at 7:33 am |
  13. Mark

    African Americans are 12 percent of the U.S. population, but 42 percent of prisoners on death row. We are living in a nation where justice is not blind; she just picks and choose who shall recieve justice.

    September 21, 2011 at 7:32 am |
  14. merrill fling

    No I think they sould speed the up. I am tierd of paying for the scum

    September 21, 2011 at 7:31 am |
  15. 1chz

    I think jurors are making decisions based on what they feel they can live with. Think about it as a juror you impose the death penalty-the person is put down-& viola 25 yrs later a newer better technology proves the guy innocent. I would not want that on my conscious. Yeah I know the argument that you make the best decision you can at the time w/the info & technology available but still. I think it's a matter of conscious.

    September 21, 2011 at 7:21 am |
  16. Paul Howe

    To confirm how supportive of the death penalty our country really is, perhaps for each crime of violence statute that permits it, there should be a death penalty statute for crimes of confidence. If we insist on allowing an ultimate, irrevocable penalty based on the severity of a crime, that measure of severity should include reference to the numbers of people impacted, or the depth of a betrayal. If politicians who took bribes or financial executives who swindle their customers were subject to the death penalty – perhaps the tone of the discussion would be different.

    September 21, 2011 at 7:05 am |
  17. Ty Boofer

    According who you ask. Gov. Rick Perry don't believe in science and if a person was arrested for a crime that warrants the death penalty in Texas, then death it shall be regardless of what the science facts are. It is better to deny an appeal and put to death an innocent person than have science prove the system wrong and go through the embarrassment.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:53 am |
  18. Dan M

    Absolutely. I've not heard that Revenge is part of my religion or our nation's constitution. Our legel system is one of the best, but it still is made up of imperfect people's actions and a desire to climb up in their professions – police, attorney's, and politicians. Doubting people should also read John Grisham's new novel – The Confession. I would hope that will help change some people's minds. The death penalty is not something to treat lightly and be used for revenge and career ambitions.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:39 am |
  19. Ken Freeman North Carolina

    Nick Perry said that we understand the "American Justic we? While I am basically pro-death penalty, the so called justic system in America is in question more then the final penalty. Therefore, we need to reserve the "death penalty" for extreme cases were there is no doubt of the crime. i.e. person walks into to building and shoots everyone with witness's everywhere. Maybe the question should be; "should we re-think what is reasonable doubt"!

    September 21, 2011 at 6:34 am |
  20. ToddB

    I agree with the death penalty, but with the legal system the way it is maybe it's a waste of time. It appears that after the appeals process is complete, the person has spent almost the remainder of their life in prison. The penalty of life without the possibility of parole does essentially the same thing without the costs of processing the appeals, protests, and all the hoopla that comes with an execution.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:34 am |
  21. Solomon Davis

    There is nothing wrong with the death penalty, as long as everyone who was involved with or could have stopped the execution is willing to face being convicted of the fitting homicide charges if the person executed is later found to be innocent. An innocent man or woman being killed deserves justice, even if the state judicial system happens to be the responsible party.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:30 am |
  22. mike

    Davis never had a chance with a board composed of Cops, prosecutors and prison guards. The death penalty and the rigmarole that attends it is cruel, stupid, irreversible, often political and quite falllible.

    September 21, 2011 at 6:08 am |
  23. Dan, Stewartstown, PA

    Right now it seems as if DNA testing can provide irrefutible evidence toward proving guilt. However, at almost every step in society's evolution, humans have always thought their technologies were penultimate and therefore, infallible. yes, there are some criminals who are caught red handed in the commission of henous crimes and leave no doubt about their guilt, the death penalty should be used. Where we rely on "cutting edge" technology, maybe it's better not to implement the ultimate sentence.

    September 21, 2011 at 5:58 am |