This report declares that there are three ways in which the practice of capital punishment is in tension with fundamental political and moral values. The first section discussed how the claim that this punishment is proper implicates deep moral and political questions. The second section illustrated how frustrating delays in capital punishment can only be avoided by restricting both the moral claims for exemption from execution and procedural avenues for avoiding the execution of the innocent. The death penalty in the United States can only be principled if it is not efficient; it can only be expeditious if it is morally and procedurally arbitrary.
This paper makes a conclusion that instead of using the death penalty to express society's rage at wanton murder, we would be better off forcing remorseless and callous criminals to confront their depravity and make them realize how much pain they cause to others. It would be even more useful to turn our energies away from revenge on the perpetrators of crime and concentrate them instead on community support for the victims, who are often neglected as the criminal justice system focuses on retribution. Those of us who oppose the death penalty should never concentrate our efforts solely on the manifold problems of the death penalty or, as some do, on the humanity of the killer. We must pay equal attention to compassionate support for the families and other loved ones of the victims.