— Nancy Reagan actress and first lady of the United States 1921 - 2016
„I personally have always voted for the death penalty because I believe that people who go out prepared to take the lives of other people forfeit their own right to live. I believe that that death penalty should be used only very rarely, but I believe that no-one should go out certain that no matter how cruel, how vicious, how hideous their murder, they themselves will not suffer the death penalty.“
TV Interview for Channel 4 A plus 4 (15 October 1984) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/speeches/displaydocument.asp?docid=105764
Second term as Prime Minister
„But no, I just don't think with the scientific evidence now -- I think I read an article yesterday on the death penalty, and 68 percent of the time they make mistakes. And it’s so racist, too. I think more than half the people getting the death penalty are poor blacks. This is the one place, the one remnant of racism in our country is in the court system, enforcing the drug laws and enforcing the death penalty. I don’t even know, but I wonder how many of those, how many have been executed? Over 200, I wonder how many were minorities? You know, if you're rich, you usually don't meet the death penalty.“
— Ron Paul American politician and physician 1935
Interview with the Concord Monitor Editorial Board, (August 18, 2011)
„As I see it, the sole motivating factor behind the death penalty is vengeance, not justice, and I firmly believe that a government that forbids killing among its citizens should not be in the business of killing people itself.“
— Larry Flynt American publisher 1942
Larry Flynt: Don't Execute The Man Who Paralyzed Me (Guest Column), 2013-11-21, 2013-10-17, The Hollywood Reporter http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/larry-flynt-dont-execute-man-649158,
„Given how many convicts awaiting capital punishment have been cleared because of DNA evidence, I no longer support the death penalty.“
— Jesse Ventura American politician and former professional wrestler 1951
Fonte: Don't Start the Revolution Without Me! (2008), Ch. 10 (p. 187)
Contexto: Given how many convicts awaiting capital punishment have been cleared because of DNA evidence, I no longer support the death penalty. Minnesota doesn't have this on the books, so I'm thankful that, as governor, I never had to face the decision of whether to execute someone on death row. Again, I simply don't believe that government has the inherent right to make those kinds of choices.
„To me, capital punishment is a form of societal self-defense. It should not be employed indiscriminately, but in cases of the most heinous crimes, the death penalty may be the only appropriate punishment. Some people believe it is right to take a life to save the life of someone else, but they would not vote to take the life of a convicted criminal, no matter how horrible the crime. Others believe that killing another person for any reason is simply wrong. I respect those opinions, but I disagree with them. I'm convinced that government has a duty to promote community defense. The death penalty, when applied in appropriate cases, can be a strong deterrent to crime. It is certainly a deterrent to the convicted criminal sentenced to death, and it is also a deterrent to other potential capital offenders.“
— John Ashcroft American politician 1942
Fonte: Never Again: Securing America and Restoring Justice (2006), p. 112
„If one wants to abolish the death penalty in this case, Messrs. murderers should take the first step: they do not kill, we will not kill them.“
— Alphonse Karr French critic, journalist, and novelist 1808 - 1890
Si l'on veut abolir la peine de mort en ce cas, que MM. les assassins commencent: qu'ils ne tuent pas, on ne les tuera pas.
Les Guêpes, January 1849, vi.
„The trouble with the death penalty has always been that nobody wanted it for everybody, but everybody differed about who should get off.“
— Albert Pierrepoint English executioner 1905 - 1992
Executioner: Pierrepoint. Harrap 1974. p. 211.
„I don't like the death penalty, although if there is one case where there should be an execution, the fairest case would be for Saddam. But I would never wish for that.“
— Mohammad Khatami Iranian prominent reformist politician, scholar and shiite faqih. 1943
press After a cabinet meeting in Tehran http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/iranian-president-mohammad-khatami-speaks-to-the-press-news-photo/2816904 (18 December 2003)
„I do not want to suffer, I do not have a christian concept of suffering. They tell us that suffering elevates the spirit; no suffering is something that hurts and that's all, it elevates nothing. And therefore I fear suffering. Because with regards to death, I, who in everything believe to be moderate, am absolutely radical. If we have a right to life, we have also a right to death. It rests on us, and it must be regognized the right to choose the when and the how of our own death.“
— Indro Montanelli Italian journalist 1909 - 2001
cited in la Repubblica, 25 April 2002.
2000s - 2010s
„It is the turncoats from amongst one's own people who always pose the greatest threat. That is why traditionally and historically, the penalty for treason has been death.“
— David Lane (white nationalist) American white supremacist, convicted felon 1938 - 2007
Race to Extinction
„Many people are familiar with the campaign to abolish the death penalty. In fact, it has already been abolished in ost countries. Even the staunchest advocates of capital punishment acknowledge the fact that the death penalty faces serious challenges. Few people find life without the death penalty difficult to imagine.“
— Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?
Fonte: Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003), Chapter One
„Most conservatives also believe in the death penalty, but not abortion, which proves they like to procrastinate.“
— Margaret Cho American stand-up comedian 1968
Fonte: I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight
„Religion’s preferred punishment is almost always death, regardless of the crime. But the death penalty is a statistical failure just like all their proposed solutions to other problems always are. Here in the US, the states that still have the death penalty also have the highest murder rates; its a negative correlation. The problem there is one of society, the conditions imposed and the types of responses that are culturally coaxed. When murder happens, and that person is caught and tried, we should remove them as a threat, and whether they are imprisoned, institutionalized, or what have you should be determined by the particulars in each case.“
— Aron Ra Aron Ra is an atheist activist and the host of the Ra-Men Podcast 1962
Patheos, How is secular humanist governance better than theocracy? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/reasonadvocates/2013/09/07/how-is-secular-humanist-governance-better-than-theocracy/ (September 7, 2013)
„How come life in prison doesn't mean life? Until it does, we're not ready to do away with the death penalty. Stop thinking in terms of "punishment" for a minute and think in terms of safeguarding innocent people from incorrigible murderers.“
— Jesse Ventura American politician and former professional wrestler 1951
I Ain't Got Time To Bleed (1999)
Contexto: How come life in prison doesn't mean life? Until it does, we're not ready to do away with the death penalty. Stop thinking in terms of "punishment" for a minute and think in terms of safeguarding innocent people from incorrigible murderers. Americans have a right to go about their lives without worrying about these people being back out on the street. So until we can make sure they're off the street permanently, we have to grit our teeth and put up with the death penalty. So we need to work toward making a life sentence meaningful again. If life meant life, I could, if you'll excuse the pun, live without the death penalty.
We don't have it here in Minnesota, thank God, and I won't advocate to get it. But I will advocate to make life in prison mean life. I don't think I would want the responsibility for enforcing the death penalties. There's always the inevitable question of whether someone you gave the order to execute might truly have been innocent.
„The death penalty can be tolerated only by extreme statist reactionaries who demand a state that is so powerful that it has the right to kill.“
— Noam Chomsky american linguist, philosopher and activist 1928
„"As governor, I came to believe that the death penalty would be a just punishment for certain, especially heinous crimes, such as the murder of a child or the murder of a police officer. The events of September 11 convinced me that terrorists also deserve the ultimate punishment." --June 2003“
— Howard Dean American political activist 1948
„I will admit, like Socrates and Aristotle and Plato and some other philosophers, that there are instances where the death penalty would seem appropriate.“
— Jack Kevorkian American pathologist, euthanasia activist 1928 - 2011
Quoted in "Years of Minutes" - Page 332 - by Andy Rooney - 2004
„As Justice Stevens explains, “ ‘objective evidence, though of great importance, [does] not wholly determine the controversy, for the Constitution contemplates that in the end our own judgment will be brought to bear on the question of the acceptability of the death penalty under the Eighth Amendment.’ ” (quoting Atkins v. Virginia). “I have relied on my own experience in reaching the conclusion that the imposition of the death penalty” Purer expression cannot be found of the principle of rule by judicial fiat. In the face of Justice Stevens’ experience, the experience of all others is, it appears, of little consequence. The experience of the state legislatures and the Congress—who retain the death penalty as a form of punishment—is dismissed as “the product of habit and inattention rather than an acceptable deliberative process.” The experience of social scientists whose studies indicate that the death penalty deters crime is relegated to a footnote. The experience of fellow citizens who support the death penalty is described, with only the most thinly veiled condemnation, as stemming from a “thirst for vengeance.”“
— Antonin Scalia former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States 1936 - 2016
It is Justice Stevens’ experience that reigns over all.
Baze v. Rees (2008) (concurring).
„I believe in the legal and social necessity of penalties, for penalties are not made only for delinquents. Penalties are made for all, because their essential function is to hold in sight of all citizens a threat of consequences, which operates powerfully as a psychologic motive, and does cause most citizens to observe the law.“
— Alfredo Rocco Italian politician and jurist 1875 - 1935
As quoted in “The Fascist Reform of the Penal Law in Italy,” Giulo Battaglin, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 24, Issue 1, May-June, summer 1933, p. 286. Speech in the Senate (1925)