Before I respond, I like Bloomington Indiana but wonder where the prison is in Southern Indiana?I'm not sure where in the states you are based but it's currently half past eleven over here.. We are probably four or five hours ahead of you so it's not that early over here.
I fully accept your right to disagree and your right to support capital punishment. One of the advantages of a site such as this is that we can debate our various views in a civilised manner and end up respecting each other even where we disagree. It's great that you and I can now do this.
Heaven forbid that one of my family were murdered I suspect I would want the murderer to suffer as much as possible. But would you not accept that I would be the worse possible person to make a decision because I would not be able to think clearly and dispassionately. Ultimately decisions such as this have to be made coldly and without emotion if they are to be fair.
There are too many opportunities for a miscarriage of justice. Rich young men can ay good lawyers to get them off. How many innocent people have died? In Canada, the PM (1958-1963) had been a defense attorney and hated the dealth penalty - most sentences were commuted. The law was not changed until a few years later in a free vote in Parliament. The member for my district voted to abolish although polls in my riding showed overwhelming support for keeping the death penalty.
I fantasize about being hanged - not the British way (too quick) but being forced to walk to the SHED where there were 13 steps up to the noose and knowing all the time it was my last walk (In Cold Blood). The gallows in Hang 'em High was not high enough but watching them try to get up those stairs with chains on their ankles is rather arousing. That is a fantasy but does not mean I am in favour of the penalty itslef.