One of the rallying cries of abolitionism is that life without parole will keep us just as safe as the death penalty.
There are so many things wrong with this assurance it's difficult to know where to start. For one thing, today's life without parole can become tomorrow's parole board hearing; if the death penalty can be changed, so can its promised successor. In addition, the whole rationale of abolitionism tells you that the stout promise of LWOP isn't really sincere. A polestar of abolitionism is that even the worst people can change, and that the death penalty forecloses all hope of redemption and a return to civil society. But of course so does LWOP.
But even that is not the main driving force. At the core of abolitionist thinking is a moral irresolution that will never abide life without parole. No sooner will the the ink be dry on the statute ending the death penalty than the push will be on to banish LWOP as simply the death penalty in slow motion, and thus even more cruel and backward.
Of course the main thing wrong with the promise that LWOP will keep us as safe as the death penalty is simply that it's false.