Intelligence Squared US: Should We Abolish the Death Penalty?

(Rochester, NY) –  A recent Gallup poll found that Americans are still largely supportive of the death penalty, with 6 in 10 in favor as punishment for murder. Legal in 32 states, it has come under renewed scrutiny in light of several botched executions in 2014. At the heart of the debate are many complicated questions. Within a flawed criminal justice system, is it possible to know every person's guilt with a sufficient degree of certainty? Does the fear of death reduce crime? Are there race and class biases in sentencing? Are some crimes so heinous in nature that punishment by death is the only appropriate measure, or is capital punishment always immoral? Should we abolish the death penalty? Intelligence Squared US: Should We Abolish the Death Penalty?, airing Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 9 p.m. on AM 1370.

For the motion is Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director, National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and Barry Scheck, Co-Director, Innocence Project & Prof., Cardozo Law. Against the motion is Robert Blecker, Professor, New York Law School and Kent Scheidegger, Legal Director, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation. John Donvan, Author & Correspondent for ABC News, moderates.

Illustration by Thomas James


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