Focus on Ethics Video: An Inside Look at Death Row

There are debates as to whether capital punishment is applied fairly, acts as a deterrent to crime, and is a moral and humane way of dealing with serious crime. In this video, death row inmates talk about their offenses and their experiences living in prison. Pay particular attention to the amount of time some of these inmates—who committed their offenses as young men—have been on death row.

Video source: KQED Newsroom on YouTube

1. Did the video humanize these inmates for you? Do you have any sympathy for those who appear to be contrite?

2. What role does religion play on death row?

3. What rights and liberties should death row inmates have?

4. What resources should be expended on death row inmates? Should they be eligible for expensive medical care such as organ transplants?