Originally Posted by RNB
I don't think that personal ethical choices really play into what the government's role is, that of protecting the its citizens in the most efficient way possible. In other words, the government does not punish to dish out justice, but to hopefully keep it from happening again. You could argue that death row and even the actual execution cost a lot of money, but that is only based off of our current system. I don't really buy into the whole "human rights, man" argument because I find that it is just another way of someone giving more value to their own subjective opinion of what "rights" humans ought to have.
A right is something that, by necessity, cannot be taken from you. A right is not something that should not be taken from you. If you want to call that a right, then sure, but at least don't forget to remember that it is your own personal opinion.
If you accept that as government's mandate, then that means you're fine with losing all personal freedoms. "Protecting its citizens in the most efficient way possible" has resulted in the Patriot act, "justification" for two foreign wars and the international stigmatisation of US citizens in the last decade alone.
I agree that the purpose of the criminal justice system is to prevent further crimes from happening. However, I do not believe that the systematic killing of those responsible is either necessary or morally correct. These are personal ethics, yes, but so is the view that someone who takes a life forfeits the right to their own. There is no natural law that states the value of human life, we give it value. And I think that if we value human life so much as to make ending it malevolently a crime, then that should be reflected in the way our society deals with that crime.