The death penalty is considered by most civilized nations as a cruel and inhuman punishment. Thirty countries have abolished the death penalty since 1990. Since January 17th 1977 when Gary Gilmore was executed by firing squad there have been 957 people executed in the U.S.A., most by lethal injection. In Ohio u must commit aggravated murder with at least 1 of 10 aggravating circumstances to be sentenced to death. There are currently (04, 20, 2005) three thousand four hundred and fifty five inmates on death row, 202 in Ohio.
In my opinion the death penalty isn't necessary almost under any circumstances, although there are people who may deserve death. There have been over 100 people released from death row with substantial evidence of their innocence. For every 7 executions carried out, another person on death row who is innocent. It is cost effective to keep a prisoner jailed for life rather than executed.
The death plenty is not effective as a deterrence to murder, the only purpose it should server.
The idea of the death penalty as a deterrence to murder makes sense. A person can't consider killing another person without the possibility if convicted of murder facing his own death. But would a person who commits murder be less inclined to do so because of the death penalty? In my opinion no, and in the opinion of a survey of former and present presidents of the county's top academic criminological societies, 84% of these experts rejected the notion that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder. (Radelet & Akers, 1996)