This arguement is based on the premise that locking someone up for life is worse, or as bad as, a firing squad.
I think it is nearly as bad. Personally, were I wrongly convicted I would not want to spend a lifetime in prison. Especially not the kind of prison where those facing a choice between life without parole or capital punishment get sent.
Yes, we should be against wrong convictions in any circumstance, but ..... Furthermore, while you can't gat back time, there have been those that have been let out of jail after finding 10 years down the road they were indeed innocent.
our court system has shown too much corruption for me to trust it with life or death situations, unfortunately.
And this is my problem. We recognize the problems with the courts and so we don't trust it with "life or death". But we do trust it with lifelong sentences and all that imposes on people? How do you compensate an innocent man for being gang raped? For losing his wife, children, and friends? For he and they being bankrupted and losing their home?
Just for sake of shock and illustration I'm going to suggest that IF
an innocent man is going to be wrongly convicted there might be greater value in him being executed than in him only
being incarcerated for 25 years, to die a couple of years after being released. Wrongful conviction should be obviously horrible enough that we refuse to convict wrongly.
I see some people say they are ok with capital punishment when we are 100% certain the person is guilty. So what are they saying? That they are ok with locking someone up for life when they are only 90% sure the person is guilty?
My theory is this: If I'm not sure enough of guilt to impose capital punishment I'm not going to vote to convict for a $30 traffic ticket.
Of course, civil cases and relative liability is an entirely different case and someone might actually be only 75% liable. But even there, I need to be 100% certain they are 75% liable before voting to take their property from them.
I favor firing squad not because I have some attachment to guns, but because it is violent and loud enough (without being inhumane) to make perfectly clear what is happening. The man is NOT
peacefully going to sleep. He isn't "drifting off". He is being put to death, deliberately, prematurely, unnaturally. And even in cases where it is not only justified but required for any sense of justice, decent men ought to be uneasy about it.
Eliminating the firing squad doesn't fix the broken fence at the top of the cliff. It just parks an ambulance at the bottom. "If there is a wrongful conviction we get a second chance 30 years from now to undo it. Sorry about the 30 years and life gone. Have some cash."
While I'm very sympathetic to your argument, I have to reject it precisely because capital punishment may be one of the few things that will force some people to actually support some needed changes to the judicial system. Without those changes, any punishment is unjust. With them, there are those crimes for which capital punishment is fully deserved and demanded.