One reason we should be wary of the death penalty is to prevent it from being used as a political tool, i.e., for something else besides killing cold-blooded murderers. Unfortunately, this is how it is used in statist countries (like Nazi Germany, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Castro’s Cuba, etc.); it is used as a tool for political oppression: obey or die. The danger with having a death penalty ‘on the books’, is that it may be broadened if a government goes wholly statist, or applied by a politician acting out of expediency of the moment.

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