Methods of Capital Punishment

Yeah, but i think a poll needs to be somewhat broad, and actually listing crimes gets into the weeds in a way that’s useful if you are a juror, but not very useful for this kind of poll.

Oh I just meant that comparing “domestic abuse is less severe than CSA” is an icky comparison to make, even if I think it true.

The more germane point was that the inverse of “no executions ever even if society cannot be kept safe” is more like “Execution should be used for minor crimes”.

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I’m on the fence on this topic. In general, I’m extremely in support of legal assisted suicide.

In the case of prison for life I’m more torn. If it can be done humanely (i.e. not like executions) and more cheaply than prison for life, I’m not entirely against it. I’m trying to think of the counterpoint and come up with 2 things:

  • People will be less likely to do heinous acts because they’re worried about the possibility of lifelong imprisonment
  • The point of prison is to punish and they shouldn’t get an easy way out.

Personally I don’t buy #1, and as for #2 I really don’t care if they rot in a cell to make me feel good inside, or decide to die. The result changes nothing, unless perhaps to a victim who thinks it is unfair their assailant got to die. I have read the high cost of the death penalty is most related to legal fees - appeals, etc. In this case they’re choosing it, so bypass that. Not to mention I think the point of prison should lean more toward rehabilitation than punishing people and making them more prone to recidivism (irrelevant to life sentences but the idea prevails.)

I’m still 100% against execution but choosing is a totally different topic.

What is CSA?

child sexual assault.


I agree that it’s a different topic, but I think it’s an overlapping topic.

I think there are some situations where rehabilitation simply is not appropriate (ignoring that the prison system in the US does a miserable job of actual rehabilitation). Once you move beyond concerns of bias, failures of the mental health system, and errors of the judicial system…there is a small set of crimes for which permanent removal from society is the only appropriate sentence.

Some folks would say that the death penalty is appropriate in such circumstances. Others would say that life without possibility of parole is more appropriate.

I think if cruelty is to be avoided, a strong argument could be made that the decision should be left to the convict. Life without parole would be, in my mind, borderline unconscionably cruel if there were other valid circumstances necessitating that the convict be held with minimal human contact after all the appeals were exhausted. Rather than debate whether it’s more or less cruel than an execution… I think it would be a small mercy to let the convict choose. (Although presenting the convict with that choice is, I suppose, yet another potential cruelty.)

This element came to my mind again with the discussion of Alabama’s recent execution. The possibility that the asphyxiation with nitrogen was painful only because the person held their breath in resistance, and that they might have passed peacefully if they hadn’t resisted, resonates with me…and it got me thinking.


When it comes to should we have the death penalty I think of cases like Ted Bundy, Ronald Gray, Ronald Gene Simmons, Dustin Honken and others. They all committed numerous crimes, killed multiple people. There are 0 questions as to whether they were guilty. They are (were) all incredibly likely to kill again if ever let out. Those are the cases where IMO, the death penalty is the only appropriate punishment and it should be carried out expeditiously. [In the case of Gray, he should have been put to death long before now; instead, he’s been on federal death row for 35 years and counting, and will probably die on federal death row.]


A useful aspect of the death penalty. I have a friend whose aunt and uncle were murdered. The murderer was definitely guilty. The court used the death penalty to plea bargain the murderer to pleading guilty with consecutive life terms thus sparing the loved ones of the victims a long trial.

I still do not support the death penalty.


And sparing the state the expense of a long trial.

I’m sorry for your friend’s family; that’s awful.

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Haven’t had a chance to read all posts, but I would suggest adding an option for military consideration.

For example, the penalty for desertion (especially in time of war) is firing squad. I think this is a different scenario than the others that have been presented so far.


Though it’s been a while since the US has had conscription, that makes a difference IMO.

I’m ambivalent on the concept if it was an enlisted soldier - you signed up. I’m neither strongly for nor against it.

Conscription, totally against it. Depending on the situation, I’d likely be a conscientious objector and desert if still conscripted. Might be different in a world where Russia is invading the US, or there are infinite possibilities where I could consider me fighting justified. Generally, I would not.

Okay, I made a poll. I’m sure y’all will find stuff I missed now, but it’s something

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I think the heightened danger level to the “society” (the armed forces and especially your unit) means safety becomes a different kind of issue than in peacetime, and punishments as a deterrence become more severe. It still needs to have a “last resort” condition.

I appreciate it. I’m going to need to think a bit on my response before answering.