Capital Punishment And The Death Penalty Essay

2179 Words Mar 22nd, 2016 null Page
First practiced in the United States in 1622 in the colony of Virginia, by the 1800s, capital punishment became the automatic penalty for any criminal convicted of murder or other capital crimes. With the law providing that no jury, once having recognized a criminal as guilty of a capital offense, could legally avoid the death penalty, by this time in the United States, capital punishment was not only widely accepted, but required. As a result of these conditions, if a jury collectively found a person guilty of a capital crime, but did not believe that the death penalty was an appropriate punishment, they would pursue jury nullification, in which the guilty criminal is claimed innocent in order to avoid execution. However, this devious method was short-lived for by the early 1900s, many states began adopting new forms of the death penalty in which the jury had the option to choose between execution or life imprisonment, with some states deciding to ban the death penalty entirely. By the 1930s, the United States had an execution rate of approximately two hundred criminals per year and continued to maintain this statistic for the next three decades. Although capital punishment was supposedly removing two hundred criminals from society each year, by the end of the 1960s, many Americans began addressing the moral and political drawbacks of the system, ultimately questioning the validity and efficiency of capital punishment as an entity (“Capital Punishment”). While there are…

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