From a Connecticut news story, "Advocates Rally to Abolish the Death Penalty":
Not only is it not a deterrent, advocates like Rev. Walter Everett said it hinders the healing process.
“I realized that I could not heal as long as I sought vengeance,” Everett whose son was murdered in Bridgeport in 1987 said. He said telling his son’s killer “I forgive you” was the only thing that led to his healing.
“I’ve got to be honest. I didn’t feel good about it,” Everett said. “I didn’t like him at all.”
Now Everett and his son’s killer often speak together about the difference God made in both of their lives.
“To kill somebody to prove that its wrong to kill somebody doesn’t make any sense,” Everett said.
He said one of the most effective ways to change minds is to speak individually to legislators, changing one mind at a time.