Death Penalty Essay

Submitted By jessicap93
Words: 3070
Pages: 13

Running head: DEATH PENALTY

Killing in The First Degree

Jessica Provost

Rocky Mountain High School

Abstract
United States code Title 18 U.S.C. 1111 states any first-degree murder is punishable by death. It enforces the penalty by death or life imprisonment on any person convicted of a murder in the first degree. The death penalty dates back to the eighteenth century B.C. in the Code of Hammurabi. Different methods of the death penalty have been eliminated over the years. Currently, lethal injection is the only used form. Many groups debate on whether the death penalty is right or wrong. Two opposing groups who speak frequently on their views of this controversial policy are the American Civil Liberties Union and the Republican Party. The U. S. enforces the death penalty of the first degree of murder throughout all 50 states if those states are willing to participate in the death penalty.

Policy Identification and Explanation
United States code Title 18 U.S.C. 1111 states any first-degree murder is punishable by death. (a) Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Every murder perpetrated by poison, lying in wait, or any other kind of willful, deliberate, malicious, and premeditated killing; or committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, any arson, escape, murder, kidnapping, treason, espionage, sabotage, aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse, child abuse, burglary, or robbery; or perpetrated as part of a pattern or practice of assault or torture against a child or children; or perpetrated from a premeditated design unlawfully and maliciously to effect the death of any human being other than him who is killed, is murder in the first degree. (b) Whoever is guilty of murder in the first degree shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for life (18 U.S.C §15-1111, 1940).
U.S. code 18 U.S.C. 1111 was written in 1940. The Federal Government enforces Capital punishment for the first degree of murder throughout all 50 states if those states choose to take part in the death penalty. What this means is any person guilty of murder in the first degree is up for the death penalty or life imprisonment. Any murder committed out of willful, premeditated malice is considered first-degree murder.
History and Background
Punishment, by death, for committing a crime has been around for hundreds of years. It is a universal penalty for crimes dealing with murder. This has been the case since the first findings of the death penalty. Crime has been going on since the beginning of time. The punishment of one by death is not a new concept. The first recorded law of the death penalty dates back to the eighteenth century B.C. in the Code of Hammurabi, which is still present today. Since then, a great deal regarding this punishment has changed (Death Penalty Information Center, 1990). Death has been the punitive action that has taken place for crimes as early as the eighteenth century and still takes place in present day society with a few modifications.
Death penalty was first introduced into America during the Colonial times. It was the punishment for various things. However, it had not become a federal law or punishment for malicious crimes during that period of time. Crime relating to the death penalty ranged from stealing grapes to killing someone else’s chickens; these could both lead to death. Most small crimes one would be convicted of today would have been punished by death in the 1600s (Death Penalty Information Center, 1990). Breaking the law was taken extremely serious during these times and resulted in a harsh disciplinary action.
As time progressed, punishments for certain crimes have become less severe. Penalty by death has lessened throughout the states over the years. The death penalty is only available if a person is convicted of the first degree of murder or exceptional war crimes that primarily have to do with the military. The government soon stepped in…