There are four main reasons for punishment: rehabilitation (to return someone to a former status), reformation (to re-form or re-create an individual), deterrence (to deter others or to deter the person punished), and retribution (an eye for an eye). The death penalty is a punishment to a person in which the person is put to death for a very serious crime they have committed, usually when they take another person's life. Our state and federal legislators have created laws that specifically identify which crimes a person commits that can be punishable by the death penalty. The death penalty is seen as a deterrent to increasing and more serious crime. If members of the society know that if they commit serious crimes they could be put to death for it, they are less likely to commit these crimes. However, there is great disagreement in our society about whether it is a true deterrent to crime or not. When I think of the thousands of inhabitants of Death Rows in the prisons in this country...my reaction is: "What's taking us so long? Let's get that electrical current flowing. Drop those pebbles now!" Whenever I argue this with friends who have opposite views, they say that I don't have enough regard for the most marvelous of miracles - human life. Just the opposite: It's because I have so much regard for human life that I favor capital punishment. Murder is the most terrible crime there is. Anything less than the death penalty is an insult to the victim and society. It says...that we don't value the victim's life enough to punish the killer fully. Many abolition supporters quote, "the...