As age presumably imparts increased wisdom, I’ve grown to oppose the death penalty. This is mostly a result of my libertarian perspective; executions do not directly serve any of the obligations of government.
The satisfaction of scheudenfreud or katharsis cannot outweigh the risk of error.
I believe life imprisonment is more cost effective, a more likely deterrent, and prisoners offer opportunity for study. This last point has often been difficult to articulate without sounding like some Nazi officer that wants access to human subjects for inhumane testing. But Richard Dawkins has again managed nicely on my behalf in his argument that hanging Saddam Hussein was a mistake and an injury to history.