Hmm, a tough one. If the defendant is guilty of some heinous crime, then one would suppose he/she should get what they are due. However, with several people here in the UK having had their convictions overturned using modern DNA techniques, we have proven that the ultimate mistake can be made. Having never studied the subject (beyond listening to debates while living in the US), and this is creative thinking, but do people who commit terrible crimes suffer so much after the event (unless mentally deranged) that the death penalty may in fact not only act as a deterrence to others, but put them out of their own misery? The problem is, with most mass murders or massacres triggered by family infidelity, loss of pride or public humiliation (school massacres), the problem is that the perpetrators do not fear death. Their final act. As I said, a tough one. Perhaps that is why the bible was authored? To spare us the decision making. But then, which bible to follow – if at all? Another tough one!