Essay on Death Penalty

Submitted By marcoguerra94
Words: 1413
Pages: 6

As we live throughout our society there is one problem that has always been around. Death penalty, this ridiculous punishment has been in our system for hundreds of years. "The first recognized penalty laws date back to the 18th century B.C. and can be found in the Code of the King Hammurabi of Babylon. The Hammurabi Code prescribed the death penalty for over twenty different offenses. The death penalty was also a part of the Hittie Code in the 14th century B.C. The Draconian Code of Athens, in 17th century B.C., made death the lone punishment for all crimes. In the 5th century B.C., the Roman law of the twelve tablets also contained the death penalty. Death sentences were carried out by such means as beheading, boiling in oil, burying alive, burning, crucifixion, disembowelment drowning, flaying alive, hanging, impalement, stoning, strangling, being thrown to wild animals and quartering (being torn apart)" (Wilson, 1 of 6) “In 1890 William Bentler becomes the first person to be executed by electrocution”(, 1 of 5). “In 1977 Oklahoma becomes the first state to adopt lethal injection as a means of execution” (www.deathpenalty,, 2 of 5). The death penalty should be omitted from the system because it is unmorally correct to end a human life. There is always a heated argument when it comes down to the death penalty. People say that they want an “eye for an eye” or justice and on the other hand there is always the question of “what if we kill an innocent man". Two wrongs do not make a right but then again what does a teenager know.
Throughout history there has been many ways of killing people from hanging to burning, but the three most used ways of executing people are hanging, electric chair, and lethal injection. In the US death by injection is most common. “In the US the death penalty is currently authorized in one of five ways: hanging (the traditional method of execution throughout the English speaking world), electrocution (introduced by New York State in 1890). The gas chamber (adopted in Nevada in 1923), firing squad (used only in Utah), or lethal injection (introduced in 1977 by Oklahoma and now the most common method in the US)” (, 1 of 2). Ever since the capital punishment is around, there have always been people in favor and opposing this. “In 1767 a man called Cesare Beccaria made an essay called “On crimes and punishment” which influenced thinking about punishment throughout the world. Beccaria wrote that there was no justification for the state’s taking of a life. The essay gave abolitionists an authoritative voice and renewed energy, one result of which the abolition of the death penalty in Austria and Tuscany. Scholars in the US were also affected by Beccaria’s work. The first know attempted reforms of the death penalty occurred when Thomas Jefferson introduced a bill to revise Virginia’s capital punishment laws, recommending that the death penalty be used only in the case of murder and treason offenses. Jefferson’s bill was defeated by one vote” (Wilson, 1-2 of 6).Another opposing factor is the US Constitution. “Although in the late 1960s it was presumed that the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth amendments were seen as permitting the death penalty” (Death Penalty Information Center, 2 of 5). It was suggested that it was a cruel and unusual punishment therefore it was unconstitutional under the Eighth amendment. “In June 2004 New York’s death penalty law declared unconstitutional by the state’s high court”(, 4 of 5).
There has always been a debate whether it is less expensive to use capital punishment rather than life without parole. “According to a new study it is estimated that the annual cost of the present death penalty system to be $137 million per year” (Sacramento Bee, 1 of 4).With this being said it is actually more expensive to use the death penalty rather than life without parole. Instead of using this money on the death