"The death penalty is a sophisticated crime, it kills the soul before the body, it is murder in cold blood.
Participants in the drama do not feel that they are criminals. Someone catches the murderer, someone else watches him, prevents him from escape, a jury condemns, a judge sentences, and a hangman kills. This hangman, a cretin, half animal, takes the brunt of the responsibility for the kill. I think that if there were none of this shuffling from hand to hand, if the judges themselves tightened the rope on the condemned man's neck, and the legislators held the condemned as he tries to shake off the noose, then we would not have death penalty.
If you believe in the validity of your sacred rights to condemn a man to death, then do it yourself! Tighten the noose and hang! If you believe firmly in the right to kill in the name of the law then you either do not comprehend the nightmare of the penalty, or you are a criminal." Mikhail Artsybashev