In another thread http://www.usmessageboard.com/law-a...th-penalty-for-white-collar-crimes.htmlGeorge Costanza wrote: Is it civilised? This is not a new question. J.S.Mill spoke for the death penalty and against life imprisonment but I think it was from the position that prisons of his time were so bad that it was merciful to execute someone rather than allow them to spend the rest of their life in a squalid prison. Man dies in custody after 54 years behind bars | Courier Mail One reason for life imprisonment is that you can let the person out if they've been wrongly convicted so I suppose in many ways this is a question with a ready-made answer but I wonder if keeping someone in prison for life is any more civilised than executing them. If it is more civilised, why?