Death: Capital Punishment and Sacred Burial Sites Essay

Submitted By yonayona232323
Words: 1056
Pages: 5

Is the Death Penalty, is it Right? Death penalty, what is it all about? Is it really effective? The death penalty has been used throughout history and yet some people feel that it is ineffective, inhumane, unmoral, and sac-religious. Capital punishment or the death penalty is a legal process whereby a person is put to death by the state, military, or federal court as a punishment for a crime. The judicial decree that someone be punished in this manner is a death sentence, while the actual process of killing the person is an execution. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The death penalty is meant to scare others out of committing a capital offence. This essay will show the history, flaws, merits, and demerits of the death penalty Capital Punishment has been part of the criminal justice system since the earliest of times. The Babylonian Hammurabi decreed death for crimes as minor as the fraudulent sale of beer. Egyptians could be put to death for disclosing the location of sacred burial sites. However, in recent times opponents have shown the death penalty to be racist, barbaric, and in violation with the United States Constitution as "...cruel and unusual punishment." In this country, although laws governing the application of the death penalty have undergone many changes since biblical times, the punishment endures, and controversy has never been greater. The death penalty has been used throughout the ages for example: In the eighteenth century B.C.E code of king Hammurabi of Babylon, and could be put to death for 25 crimes. In the fourteenth century B.C.E Hittite code which used the death penalty was established. In the seventh century B.C.E the Draconian code of Athens which made the only punishment death. In the fifth century B.C.E the roman law of the twelve tablets executed criminals in varied forms such as beating to death, crucifixion, stoning, drowning, and burning at the stake. In the tenth century hanging became the normal mode of execution in Britain. In the following years William the Conquer established the only way to be hanged was at times of war. This would not last; under Henry VIII as many as seventy two thousand people were executed by burning at the stake, beheadings, or hanging only for capital punishments as in not confessing to a crime and treason. The death penalty in America was influenced mainly from Britain when the colonies were established. The death penalty varied in different colonies. The first execution in the colonies came from Jamestown, Virginia. Captain George Kendall was executed for spying for Spain in the year 1608. Since the 1700’s people have been trying to abolish the death penalty. Thomas Jefferson who was influenced by the writings of Beccaria tried to abolish Virginia’s death penalty laws, but was out-voted by one vote. In 1794 Pennsylvania replaced the death penalty for all offences except first degree murder. And throughout the nineteenth century there was an increase in the opposition of the death penalty, up until the civil war which focused most on the anti-slavery movement. The opposition continued after the civil war, while the electric chair was invented. The electric chair was first used in the state of New York and then adapted by other states. The real question is, why do governments kill people to show other people that killing people is wrong? You can answer that it is a bible law “An eye for an eye, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth.” But there is also another answer. A menace to society must be punished; the worst crime a person can commit is murder; so the highest form of punishment is given – death. The death penalty was implemented to scare other people out of committing murder; you can only scare people if you fear the…