Argument: The state should simply not be involved in killing people
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Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, Russian author and playwright (1860-1904) - The government is not God. It does not have the right to take away that which it can’t return even if it wants to.
US Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun famously wrote that it is wrong for the state to "tinker with the machinery of death".
Katharine Fullerton Gerould. Modes and Morals. ch. 7 (1920). - Many of us do not believe in capital punishment, because thus society takes from a man what society cannot give.
Gandalf, in theThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, by J. R. R. Tolkien (1954). - Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.