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First, I don’t think I’m playing semantic tricks. The finality of imprisonment and execution are the same. You don’t get time back if you’re released from prison. The difference is that you’re still alive, but of course that’s already the difference between imprisonment and execution. The fact that the death penalty involves killing someone is just definitional, it’s not a justification for why the death penalty is bad.

Secondly, of course I don’t dispute that there’s generally a preference for life imprisonment over execution.

The finality of eating an apple is the same if you are an external observer and just judging it by the direction of the time arrow.

From the perspective of the - potentially falsely - accused, "The difference is that you’re still alive" is a pretty fundamental distinction and "The finality of imprisonment and execution are the same" is false.

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