Various objections to capital punishment hinge on religious beliefs. On the other hand, the American justice system does not recognize religious principles.
Capital punishment also raises numerous ethical issues pertaining to the likelihood of errors in its administration. Lethal injection, for example, causes excruciating pain and a slow death from prolonged suffocation instead of instantaneous death if it is performed incorrectly. If suffering of this nature were considered torture when inflicted purposely, what incidence of error would be enough to prohibit lethal injection altogether on ethical grounds? Finally, does the prospect of erroneous conviction or disproportionate application to the poor or to racial minorities undermine all the other ethical justifications for capital punishment?
Rosenstand, N. (2008).
The Moral of the Story: An Introduction to Ethics. New York:.