Capital punishment: A shift in thinking

Survey Voteby: Washington Times
published: 20 September 2013

A recent poll of Boston residents shows that 57 percent of them favor a life sentence over the death penalty for bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. While Massachusetts is one of 18 U.S. states which have abolished the death penalty, Tsarnaev could still face capital punishment due to his actions violating federal law.

The fact that so many Bostonians believe Tsarnaev should not be put to death could be a hopeful sign that Americans are finally coming around. Opponents of capital punishment have long held that it is an archaic, wasteful and ineffective method of dispensing justice. Americans who still support it are often unable to give any credible reason beyond the reactionary urge for revenge or bloodlust.

Perhaps these Americans are unaware that the U.S. is one of only a handful of countries which still put its citizens to death. Most industrialized, Western democracies, with whom the U.S. shares many cultural and social traits, have done away with the practice years ago.

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