With a number of last-minute exonerations handed to death row inmates lately, a crisis of conscience appears to be growing over the death penalty in this country. For those who doubt it, one need only look at Alabama, one of the unlikeliest of places for the penalty's re-evaluation. Read more.
FNC wants to hear from YOU!
Do you feel it's time to re-evaluate the death penalty?
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and jump into the debate.
Here's what FOX Fans are saying:
"The death penalty should not be eliminated. It should be used more often and more quickly. It is a shame that the public has to pay the price to house and feed these people who are unfit to be members of society. They need to be held accountable for the crimes they committed in a more timely fashion." — Jack
"God should be the only one to take a life." — James
"One's life should not be a part of the American justice system or sentencing. The U.S. is far behind the rest of the civilized world. To put a person to death is far too costly. Too many people are eventually found not guilty." — Jody
"I'm not opposed to the death penalty in theory, but our practicing of it leaves a lot to be desired. It looks as if anyone that can afford a good lawyer can avoid the death penalty. In recent years, DNA evidence has cleared about 90 people that were on death row for years. How many innocent people have we executed in the last 200 or so years? Until we learn to do it fairly and accurately, we need to forego the death penalty, unless there is irrefutable physical evidence that we have the right person." — David (Newport, NC)
"I think that if all the victims' families and friends agree to let the perpetrator out of the death penalty, then and only then should he or she spend the rest of their life in prison. Otherwise, OFF WITH THEIR HEADS." — Jason (Denver, CO)
"Our justice system is far from perfect, and it isn't the fault of the lawyers. It's the result of the uncertainty that's inherent in any dispute over who did what to whom. Even in so-called 'open and shut' cases, juries all too often free the guilty, and even more often convict the innocent. DNA evidence has demonstrated how often juries get it wrong. All ethical systems agree that murdering the innocent is a greater crime than any other. As for the guilty, for most death is a welcome release from the horror of a lifetime in prison." — Jim (Montana)
"This country is founded on Christian principles. Capital punishment is an appropriate deterrent and reward for those who choose to take someone else's life. Some Christians mistakenly believe that Christ taught only love and not justice. That's simply not true. You will reap what you sow..." — Priscilla
"Until you have been subjected to such a tragedy you do not know the true meaning of the death penalty. I have lost a loved one to a murderer. My younger sister was 23 years old when her life was taken from her. If you are convicted of such a crime you should be taken to the courthouse square and promptly hanged, and remain there for 24 hours for all to see. I am sure our murder rate would then decrease." — Doug
"I am a conservative who believes it it time to scrap the death penalty, except for treason. We now have the means to find, unequivocally, that some of those we have executed were, in fact, innocent (at least of the crime for which they were executed). Reserve the death penalty for crimes against our national security, and let it be swift and public." — Arthur
"Stop this nonsense of waiting 20 years to carry out the sentence. A sentence of death is NOT 20 years in jail, having the time of one's life lifting weights and eating three squares a day." — Jeff
"If it were up to me, I’d make organ donors out of all the convicted serial murderers, child molesters/killers, etc. Recycle ‘em — there are a lot of people in the world that are in need of a vital organ." — Randy (San Diego, CA)
"It is time to rethink the 'cruel and unusual' punishment portion of the constitution. Let's see if some unusual, but effective methods are better than execution and long-term incarceration (both of which have proven to NOT be significant deterrants)." — Robert
"Cruel and unusual? Well, let's apply it more often, and then it won't be unusual anymore. As for cruel; I stopped crying when I got a shot at age three. Kidnapping, rape, and murder should all be capital crimes, and the appeals process should be five years." — Clayton (Huntsville, AL)
"I feel that we should abolish the practice. It is simply revenge, not punishment. The only reason so many people blindly support it is because they don’t have to deal with it. Get rid of it — it doesn’t deter anything." — Jerry (Birmingham, AL)
"You can't have mercy without justice, and there is room for both in our country. Anti-death penalty folks have got to stop denying that the people on death row deserve what they get purely out of justice. Pro-death penalty folks have to open their hearts to mercy and life. That being said, I think we can let each state continue to decide the matter as best they see fit through their state representatives." — Steve (Clinton, MI)
"With the advances in science and forensics and the use of DNA evidence, there should be no one falsely convicted in the future. This, in itself, should limit the time these individuals stay on death row, and the number of appeals. There should be no reason for taxpayers to keep paying for these individuals' upkeep for 15 to 20 years after their convictions." — Tim (Alexandria, VA)
"I am alive today because the good Lord allowed me to crawl from under my poor dad's body and disarm his killer before he could kill the rest of my family that morning in 1990 in NC. On November 11th of this year, my wife and I saw Steve McHone, the killer and my half-brother, go to his Maker. Only after Governor Easley denied him clemency and McHone was laying on the gurney, did he express remorse for killing our mother and my father. I believe the system of justice worked, albeit very slowly." — Wes (Beavercreek, OH)
"The only thing to re-evaluate about the death penalty is the lengthy appeals process. The maximum time to appeal should be five years, period! All appeals would be expeditiously reviewed to meet this deadline. It is ridiculous that appeals can go as long as 25 years." — Scott (San Diego, CA)
"There have been innocent people put to death in the past, and there will be innocent people put to death in the future. Lawmakers, lawyers and judges can never be certain that an innocent person isn't put to death unless the practice is banned. Let's put an end to capital punishment and make this world a better and more humane place in which to live." — Dale
"I believe that if someone commits a crime horrible enough to be put to death for it, they should not sit on death row for 20 years. They should be PUT TO DEATH upon sentencing, or at least immediately after ONE appeal! SAVE THE COUNTRY MONEY." — Debi (Mississippi)
"I think it is a good sign that so many people feel uncomfortable about the death penalty. It shows a reverence for life, truth, and justice. The more I think about this issue, the more I switch back and forth. I feel many crimes deserve the penalty of death, and I am not opposed to ending someone's life if they have truly done despicable crimes. However, as I said above, we are human, we make mistakes. I can think of no worse crime than ending an innocent person's life after innocent people have already died." — Adam (Boston, MA)
"The only flaw in the death penalty is the 20+ years it takes to enforce it!" — Vanessa (Tampa, FL)
"I think it's time to scrap the entire justice system and start anew." — Michael
"Yes, it is time to re-evaluate the death penalty. It seems to me that the seemingly unlimited and lengthy appeal process needs to be expedited and the sentence carried out within a reasonable time period. I don’t believe that a 10 to 20 year time period between sentencing and execution is a deterrent." — T.B. (PA)
"This is supposed to be the 21st century. Why are there still executions? What is the difference between murders? One is not legal and the other is supposed to be. A murder is a murder no matter who commits it and by what means a human being is killed." — Marion
"I feel that before a prisoner is executed, we need to make sure that the condemned prisoner is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and that all avenues have been speedily pursued to ensure their guilt or innocence. If, after a complete review of all evidence, there is no doubt that they committed the crime they were convicted of, then they should be put to death as soon as possible. For those who use religion as an excuse to not put someone to death, go back and reread the Bible. There are many examples of the death penalty being used under the direct laws from God." — Bryan
If a person has truly repented, then we should forgive, as God has forgiven us, and God gave us the first example to follow." — JEB (Titusville, FL)
"I think that the death penalty should be abandoned and stuffed in the obsolete file. Not because some celebrity thinks ‘what’s his name’ shouldn't have to die, but because it's too good a penalty for those who truly have committed acts that justify a death penalty — it's an easy way out for them. The other reason is that like so many areas of our justice system, the lawyers have managed to totally derail the efficient carrying out of the death sentence. For the most part it’s a farce." — Russ