There are those who oppose the death penalty because it is too cruel. There are others who oppose it because it is not cruel enough: lifetime imprisonment is believed crueler so better -- we have a very vindictive society.
In places which have abolished the death penalty, how much was the reason for abolishing it the latter reason?
Those who believe prison should be cruel provide the political force for mistreatment of prisoners by guards or by fellow inmates. Stand idly by and let it happen.