http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-1901324,00.html Is the death penalty in America still a viable solution? I'm under the impression that, since human reasoning can be flawed, there lies a propensity for error (and innocent people are executed). Now, the man above was clearly guilty, but did his death really console the family of the victim? Moreover, will his death really send a signal to criminals in the United States? Or will they just ignore it? According to articles from Amnesty International (http://web.amnesty.org/pages/deathpenalty-index-eng [Broken]), the death penalty doesn't deter criminals. The reason being that they do not think rationally in the first place, much less think about the consequences of their actions. If this has been true for years, why is the death penalty still carried out in nations over the world? What would differentiate state-approved violence (which the 20th century has seen enough of) and civilian violence? I realize that the impetus for having a death penalty is to show an example to the murderer that they are not above the law, in a Hannurabi eye-for-an-eye type situation. To give them the same treatment that they have done to the victims to whom they have slaughtered. But is such violence really necessary? Would a mandatory life in prison sentence be a more suitable punishment? Any ideas?