Human Rights in Society
I actually feel embarrassed when people in our time apologise for acts or regimes imposed in the past. I can't imagine it means much to anybody and seems a bit tokenistic. Changing the way people act and think TODAY seems a much greater example of desire for change for the better.
Deep down I can see the appeal of capital punishment; it satisfies an animalistic base need for revenge. The challenge is to overcome this basic instinct in order to both act on the morals we preach and give us the best chance of achieving ultimate goals - stopping murder.
Capital punishment is not a deterrent to people who are so desperate that the risks are worth it (especially since many people wait years on death row). As an outsider (from the UK, of course we have our own problems with social divide) it seems to me that the very foundations of American retoric allow for such a country of big winners and big losers - the big losers are more likely to commit crime out of desperation - as long as you have a consistent supply of these people, the punishment of death will solve nothing!