I cannot agree with the death penalty on an ethical standpoint. Humans are, ethically, not to commit murder. This is a part of our laws, and this is a part of the ethical code I live by as a Christian. No human has the right to end another's life - that's playing God. Yes, I am disgusted by some of the crimes people commit and I feel horrible for the victims and their friends/family, but I firmly believe that repentance is always a possibility. While many criminals are not reformed (due to lack of funding for proper programs just as often as it is due to the criminals themselves refusing to change), there are criminals that are and the death penalty cuts short these people's chances.
In Minnesota, they have some of the lowest incarceration rates in the nation and the most commonly cited reason during one man's interview of state personnel was: "we put in jail those people we are frightened of, not those that we are mad at." (http://www.greenchange.org/article.php?id=1407
). Minnesota also banned the death penalty at the beginning of the last century. Anyway, you also have to consider what happens when someone is falsely convicted (there are people who are released years later after having finally been proven innocent of crimes). What if they had been killed before then?
Plus, in my opinion, if it is against the law for one person to kill another, then it should also be against the law for the government to kill a person.
And, for all you people out there who just want people to suffer for their crimes...what's worse? A quick death, or a life suffering behind bars. The death penalty almost seems like you're showing the criminals mercy.