Paroles d'Américains

Dounia Salim, 21, Moroccan & living in the US, Against

I think the death penalty should be abolished. But, then again I don’t think that sentencing one to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is possible – It is still a violation of human rights.

Nathanael Mion , 21, French, Against

I think the US will eventually abolish capital punishment. A society, any society, has to put itself above the common feelings for revenge. It cannot take revenge on itself.

Hocine, 21, French living in Massachusetts, Against

To be honest, I think that no one can take your life and no one should! But for abominable crimes, the prison for life is too extreme too. Prison is not only punishment, there is still a time for reabilitation. when you put someone in jail it is primarly to protect society fom him.

Youssef Benasser, 21, Moroccan living in the US, Against

While I reject the death penalty as a legal punishment, I do not favor proposition 34’s proposal of replacing it with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. This does not solve the problem, as it just substitutes one flaw in the judicial system, and retribution scale with another equally terrible flaw. Capital punishment, as well as life imprisonment without parole defenitely stream from the same idea that once a crime is committed, the person is doomed to eternal exclusion from society. So what is the point of replacing one injustice with another? By and large, I frankly do not know which is best for a person: being killed or spending a lifetime in prison knowing that you will never get out.

Vince, 25, American, Don’t know

I would like to learn more !

John Eastwood, American, 43, Against DP

The death penalty should be abolished, and I believe that it will be done on a state-by-state basis instead of on a national level unless the U.S. Supreme Court changes. Why? First, I believe in the sanctity of life, even that of awful persons — I believe that a far more fitting punishment for them is to face their crime, what they’ve done and to find a way to atone for it. Secondly, the statistics of our justice systems are simply not good enough to warrant the death penalty. Too many times, we’ve executed the wrong person for crimes — as studies of some states have found, the number of additional murders that would have been prevented by an execution are fewer than the number of innocent persons killed erroneously through the power of the state.

Oglesbee Phoebe, 22, American, Don’t know

Capital punishment is a hard thing to abolish completely. While life imprisonment without parole is a preferable solution from a humanitarian standpoint, is it really the lesser of the two evils when taken into consideration the hundreds of millions of dollars it costs each state to incarerate people every year? The sad fact is that increasing prison spending often requires the reallocation of dollars which negatively affects the budgets of public schools and education systems. That to me is a comparable humanitarian crime. So the question is not black and white – in my opinion capital punishment, while not ideal, may be a way to avoid draining a state’s resources, taking away from the bright futures of our students in order to spend on a life doomed to remain decades in prison as it is. While I don’t necessarily support capital punishment, and certainly not in every case, I think the effect of life incarceration without parole on public funding should not be ignored.

Thibault Boucher, French & Californian, 20, Against

I really hope that Proposition 34 will be accepted by Californians. Death penalty is clearly not acceptable for a state of law and a democracy like the USA. I am convinced that a vote repealing death penalty in California would influence other States and could lead to a national repeal of death penalty in the USA. It would not only benefit some prisoners, it would benefit human rights.

Kyden Creekpaum, 31, American, Pro

I am horrified that innocent people have been sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit, and applaud the Innocence Project and others working to free the wrongly convicted. However, I still support the death penalty overall because I believe the most horrific crimes should be subject to the ultimate punishment. The Norway Massacre and mass shootings in the US are perfect examples of horrific crimes that deserve the death penalty: guilt is certain beyond a shadow of a doubt. I have no sympathy whatsoever for those killers — I would flip the switch myself.

Cara MAESANO, 36, American, Against

I am against the death penalty. For members of society who need special help or need to be isolated in order to keep from harming others, there are other options. There can also be cases where innocent people are sent to death row by virtue of poor evidence on both sides. Aside from the obvious moral issues – keeping people on death row is also expensive for states. This money should be used for rehabilitation instead. Unfortunately the death penalty is only one terrible aspect of our prison system – current laws and private prisons have created a situation where many young men (and women) are ill-treated.