Priorities in the US Death Penalty Abolition Movement

     This page suggests possible improvements in the general direction of the US anti-death-penalty movement.
     The "six sigma" concept, for improving quality, has made considerable headway in business management in recent years -- while it has its mathematical side, it also has its "soft" business side -- and, one of the concepts of that stresses the importance of listening carefully, and trying to find out what the customer's needs and wants really are.
     Support for the death penalty in the US peaked off at about 80% in about 1994, and is now below about 2/3; so, that support has been eroding steadily.
     Of course, many of that penalty's US supporters aren't soon going to question it; but, it is the many "swing votes" which have been "coming over", which constitute the "customer base" of the abolition movement.
     What is chronically the main focus of the abolition movement? Largely, innocence, racism, tax money, poor defence lawyering, etc. -- negative results of the death penalty.
     However, if we get out of what's going on in our own heads for a while, and listen to what's being sold to the "silent majority" in support of capital punishment, we hear, chronically, in their media and from their politicians, two main themes: deterrence, and retribution.
     For the "retribution" theme, they have adopted such as the word "closure" (they might do well to get acquainted with material from Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation do deal with that) -- but, to support the "deterrence" issue, they are believing claims that "statistics" bear out the idea that "capital punishment saves lives".
     Dealing with statistics isn't like "street theater" -- it's a tricky business in which realities can be viewed from different perspectives -- but, there does seem to be a solid basis for dealing with these claims that strapping people down and killing them saves lives -- see US Murder Rates Relative to the Death Penalty.
     Of course, it takes some time and effort to deal with these things -- but, isn't saving lives worth it?


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