- Can public opinion
about the death penalty be shaped by external forces given the
ingrained nature of most people’s perceptions on the subject and
exposure to conflicting information in the subject? Why do public
officials support or condemn capital punishment?
- Does capital punishment work? What are the myths we hold about the subject? Why do we believe what we believe, and where are those myths created? What if it works? What if it doesn’t? Ultimately what should we as a society decide, and who should make the decision?
- How should the system balance the needs of the victims and the community against the possibility that someone sentenced to death is innocent? How do we balance the needs for justice for the victims against the concerns we have about acting in a humane civilized way? Where does our responsibility lie?
- Are the thousands of correctly convicted criminals justification for our justice system and are the few innocent people who are wrongly convicted an acceptable price to pay to maintain our system? Does the legalized killing of even a single person, guilty or innocent, reduce our claims of being civilized?