Good thread!
I think when you have the death penalty in the US it's when the crime is beyond reasonable doubt. I am in favour of the death penalty but only when there's no doubt.
You could argue that there is always 'some' doubt but in the case of say Fred and Rosemary West, or Michael Ryan it's pretty clear-cut.
I don't see why my taxes should pay to keep these people alive.
I believe in 'an eye for an eye' sort of justice, as well. Why not let the victims family exact some vengeance?
I voted for 'maybe', though, because unless it's certain that they did it, some poor shmo will always get executed for something he didn't do. There can't be any doubt whatsoever.
At the end of the day, I believe that anyone who murders in cold blood has demonstrated that they have no right to life. Do as you would be done by, that's my motto. They've shown they see killing as acceptable conduct.
There are so many variables you can throw in though. Mental illness, under-age crime, crimes of passion, it's hard to be certain you're getting it right. That's why I put 'maybe' because I'm for it in principle, but in practice it's too complicated to be absolutely sure.
I do know if someone murdered one of my loved ones, I really would try and murder them back, in cold blood, malice aforethought etc. Not that that's an argument for anything, just an example of how rationality flies out of the window in a crisis. I'd be executed by my own rules, in the above case.
(I'll have to change it then, so it doesn't apply to killing someone back after they've killed someone dear to you, oh plop, it's still too complicated, I give in )