LFDA Members Favor Death Penalty - 427 responses

Apr 22, 2014

Few punishments in our legal system engender such diametrically opposed viewpoints as does the death penalty, as those for it argue the sentence should fit the crime, while opponents cite strong moral objections. The debate in New Hampshire may be one sided, however, as the vast majority of  Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) Facebook members said they support the death penalty. This sentiment was expressed in response to a question posed by the LFDA in light of the recent deadlocked 12-12 Senate vote on HB 1170.

Had the proposed legislation passed, the death penalty would have been banned in New Hampshire. As result of the deadlock, however, New Hampshire will remain the only state in New England that allows for the execution of anyone convicted of a capital crime.

In total, the LFDA received 427 citizen responses, including specific comments from 201 individuals supported by 205 concurrences.  Of the respondents, 70 percent said they supported the death penalty, 21 percent said they did not, while 9 percent were unable to offer a clear position.  It should be also noted that this question was asked prior to the “botched” execution in Oklahoma, and therefore comments by respondents do not reflect any opinions on this aspect of the capital punishment debate.

For most respondents in favor of the death penalty, the reasoning was quite clear: an eye for an eye. “If you kill someone, then you should be put to death for the crime of murder,” remarked one woman.

Opponents of the death penalty offered several reasons for their position:  the morality of capital punishment, that since the 1970s, 117 condemned prisoners have been exonerated as innocent, as well as its ongoing ineffectiveness as a deterrent to murder.   “If that were the case, our state would be murder-free,” reasoned one respondent.

For several respondents unable to express a clear opinion, the death penalty and the vote itself is simply irrelevant. “NH’s last execution was 1939,” said one gentleman.

Indeed, many of the majority opinion also questioned the logic behind allowing for capital punishment when it is never used, while others debated what it costs society to execute criminals as opposed to housing them indefinitely. According to many in the majority, however, such issues and debates are mere rhetoric. “It's supposed to be about justice and removing from society people who simply do not have the right to live anymore due to the crimes they committed,” said one respondent.

Click here to see the full Facebook discussion of this question.

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