||The US is the only civilized Western nation that has a death penalty, much to the chagrin and horror of our more refined European allies
If you read Mr. seventypercent's article on the front page you will find that the Europeans are far less civilized than we Americans. Given the zeal with which they have joined our fight against terrorism it is also true that their bloodlust exceeds our own.
We execute women (like the Taliban) as well as mentally-retarded people.
Should we discriminate against women and the developmentally disabled? I think not.
A wealthy defendant who can afford a lawyer like Johnnie Cochran or Alan Derschowitz is never going to get the death penalty, unless they have committed a particularly heinous crime. On the other hand, a poor defendant who's stuck with a public defender is basically screwed
Yes, wealthy people drive nicer cars too, should we hand out BMWs to the homeless? The simple fact of life is that money buys nice things. That is true of capitalist economies as well as communist ones. Those nice things might be clothing, a home, medical care, or lawyers. If you want the best you have to work for it, get some schooling. As a wealthy person I would hate to know that I sacrificed throughout my youth by abstaining from parties and drinking and such, so I could study, only to have my rewards handed out freely to the slackers who flunked out.
Far too often this poor/rich divide is also one of race, resulting in African-Americans being executed more frequently
So you are claiming that African-Americans are all poor? That seems a bit racist to me. Even if they are, what of it? Individuals choose their lot in life, it isn't already decided based on your race. At birth, a caucasian has the same opportunity to end up poor as anyone else.
Finally, consider several recent high-profile cases where DNA evidence has exonerated people waiting for execution on Death Row.
So what? You sound a lot like my wife, who watches Crime TV all day. She thinks that there is absolutely no way to get by with a crime these days, that forensics and detective work are just too good to beat. Your TV is showing you only the exceptions to the rule. The thousands of proper executions (or in my wife's case, unsolved crimes) don't get as much press.
you can never bring a wrongfully-murdered person back to life.
Which is why we should punish those who wrongfully murder others, as swiftly and absolutely as possible. Our best method to date is to put them to death. Locking them up and making them work hard for the government isn't any good. Firstly, the government really doesn't have anything for them to do, and if it does it should divest itself of that responsibility and let private industry do it better and cheaper. Secondly, every imprisoned criminal who is doing some kind of productive work takes a job away from an honest, peaceable citizen.
You should grow up a little and stop being so emotional. There are certain people who do not fit into a polite society, they have always existed and always will. To minimize the, excuse the pun, dead weight that we proper citizens have to carry we should rid ourselves of them as quickly as possible. Yes, there are things wrong with the death penalty but there are far more things wrong with abolishing it.