The death penalty is arguably the most emotional and least judiciously applied public policy we possess. No other issue comes to mind where public support is driven almost solely by how an individual feels.
The death penalty is an issue where emotion is more important than facts.
Why is it that elected officials frequently refuse to look at the evidence regarding this public policy? It is clear that capital punishment is expensive and fails at any of its stated goals. Stop playing politics and start injecting rationality into the political process. Stop wasting money and start developing crime control policies that actually work.