One of my professors made a comment last week that I found intriguing, so I thought I'd share.
He said that, if an attorney really wanted to abolish the death penalty, they should put all their energy into reinstating the guillotine. Arguably it is the most humane of all the options because the executee (made that word up) feels the least pain with this method. However, it is horrific to watch and might make those that witness it decide that execution is barbaric. After all, he argues, it's not hard to convince the guy who's about to be put to death...it's the people who support it so much they want to witness it.
No matter how you feel about execution as a political idea, when you think about it, he has an excellent point.