(Story linked below). Kansas (and every other state) should abolish the death penalty not because it's cruel and unusual punishment (it's not) nor on the basis that the State has no right to take the life of a first degree murderer (because the State has every such right). The reason the dealth penalty must be abolished is because every now and then, although admittedly not very often, an innocent person is put to death. To me, that is intolerable in any civilized modern society, and should be considered intolerable in what I consider to be greatest nation our world has ever seen (at least, it's the nation that I would more want to live in that any other in history). Are there compelling justifications for the death penalty? Certainly. Chief among them is the principle of retribution, i.e. if you take another's life in the first degree, then you deserve to have your own life taken. Not among them is a policy of deterrence, which has never been established through any consistent empirical data. And let me be clear: The typical liberal complaints with the death penalty, such as assertions that it's wrong to take a murderer's life, are not ones with which I agree, except for the one stated above -- It is inexcusable in any enlightened society for a legal mechanism to be in place that at times results in innocent men and women being killed. That's the bottom line. It's a price to which I will never be able to agree when it comes to the death penalty.