The debate over the death penalty in the United States - such as it is - is framed in terms of criminal justice policy. The issues are the same ones we consider when the question is the length of prison sentence for a drug crime: Does the defendant deserve the penalty? Is it cost effective by comparison to other available sanctions? Will it deter others from committing the crimes for which he was convicted? Can we impose this punishment fairly? Can we make sure that innocent people are not condemned?
Gross, Samuel R. "Living with the Death Penalty." Law Quad. Notes 42, no. 3 (1999): 7.