The Death Penalty Essay

1977 WordsMay 6, 20138 Pages
The Death Penalty By: Belinda Jackson National American University Abstract The death penalty also known as capital punishment is the oldest form of punishment all over the world. The crimes committed and methods of execution used have evolved through the ages. In the 1600’s the English colonists came to America and brought the death penalty with them. The first execution in America was in 1608, a man was executed for being a spy for Spain. Executions took place in public and big crowds would watch the criminal be put to death, until laws were passed banning public executions. The methods of execution were often brutal criminals were beheaded, hanged, or burned at the stake often for crimes such as adultery, stealing, or witch craft. In the 1800’s the electric chair and the gas chamber became the preferred methods of execution because they seemed more humane. The crimes committed also changed drastically, crimes such as adultery or stealing someone’s chicken is no longer punishable by death. Capital murder or premeditated murder is now the most common crimes that are punished with the death penalty. All in all regardless of the changing laws, crimes and methods of execution one thing remains the same, the controversy between those who support it and those opposed to it. This paper explains three of the most popular arguments concerning the death penalty. The Death Penalty “The severity and finality of the death penalty is appropriate to the seriousness and the finality of murder.” (Weems vs. United States, 1910) The death penalty has been around for centuries. Currently only 38 states allow the death penalty as a lawful punishment. The death penalty should be a lawful punishment for every state in America. There are many arguments involving the death penalty. Opponents argue against it saying it is inhumane, racially biased, and that it does

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