1. The death penalty is immoral, barbaric, cruel and unusual, and has no place in any civilized society. It’s shameful that we use it in the United States, and it should be shocking to anyone with a conscience and a moral center.
2. The United States has an ugly history of abusing inmates. We imprison about 1 in every 100 American citizens. We imprison more people than any other nation ever has in recorded history. Our prison system is out of control — it’s a cash cow, and it’s nearly its own private industry (with the bill footed by our tax dollars), and it exploits prisoners for free labor. We over-use punitive punishment for minor crimes. We certainly over-use the death penalty even for the most serious crimes.
3. However, our prison system exists, and the death penalty is (unfortunately) not going away any time soon. Given that, prisoners on death row should have the option — the totally freely-made opinion, without any incentives on either end — to donate their organs after death. That, of course, requires counseling, and it requires that they not receive any benefit for organ donation. But there’s no reason not to allow people on death row the choice to donate.