It's an emotional issue. Often religious leaders speak out against it. (My rabbi nearly froths at the mouth in her denunciations.) Yet, teacher, it seems to work. Death Penalty Deters Murders, Studies Say - CBS News Up to 18 lives saved for each execution. And here's an interesting anecdote of a would-be murderer doing some research to find out if Illinois is a state that has the death penalty. Man accused of stalking woman before killing her in Oak Brook - Chicago Sun-Times I think it's clear that most murderers are still agents with some reasoning, so it's not unreasonable to think they'd take into account what their punishment could be. I personally don't think we execute enough people. There's a lot of rotten scum out there who spill innocent blood. Why not the noose? Just make sure the physics is right--size, weight, physical conditioning--and the guy isn't decapitated like happened in Iraq. Everything boils down to physics, brothers.