Basic Position: Against.
Overview: When a loved one is murdered it should not surprise us that those related cry out for the death penalty. When I think about some crimes humans commit, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, I too sometimes am tempted by the death penalty.
But the government should represent the best of civilization. Civilized nations have already abolished the death penalty. The government must not set a bad example by its inhumanity. To advocate for the death penalty is to think like a criminal. It indicates a willingness to use any means, however unethical, to achieve a desired end.
If the object is to reduce crime, there are better ways for reducing crime, like stopping it at its source.
If the object is fairness, there is no greater symbol of unfairness than the death penalty. We know that many of those killed or imprisoned by the state are in fact innocent. We know that an innocent person without the means to hire the best lawyers is far more likely to receive the death penalty in the U.S. than a rich person who is in fact guilty but can hire good lawyers.
We know that the laws about murder are defined to overlook the kinds of murder committed by bent businessmen and politicians.
Many changes will have to take place in society to reduce crime to its minimal level. The declaration of the government to act in a humane and impartial manner by abolishing the death penalty would show a commitment to making the other changes necessary for the good of our society.