Death Penalty Thesis Statement
Death penalty laws date back to the Ancient Laws of China as a method of punishing criminals. According to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), the first recorded execution in the English American colonies was in 1608 when Captain George Kendall of Virginia was executed for plotting against the British with the Spanish. The first legal execution occurred in 1622 when criminal Daniel Frank was convicted of theft. Currently the death penalty is legal in thirty two states including Florida and Kansas. It is illegal in eighteen states including Minnesota and the District of Columbia.
Capital punishment is one of the most debated topics in the United States and the world today. Capital punishment is often seen as a …show more content…
Children who were accused of terrible crimes, for instance murder, were tried as adults in the 1907s. Until recently in 2005, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Roper v. Simmons that the death penalty cannot be applied to individuals who were under the age of 18 at the time that the crime was committed (Adelman, 2005).
The mentally ill and insane are also exempt from the death penalty. In the Ford v. Wainwright case of 1986, the Supreme Court banned the execution of insane persons. However this was reversed in Penry v. Lynaugh (1989), when the Court decided that the execution of people who suffered from mental illness did not violate the Eighth Amendment. This case was rebutted in Atkins v. Virginia (2002), where the Court finally held that the nation was in opposition to the execution of the mentally ill and decided that it violates the Eighth Amendment 's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Support vs. …show more content…
However, backing for the death penalty is at its lowest for the past 40 years (Pew Research, 2015). Many socioeconomic variables impact the support or opposition of the death penalty as an ethical punishment; such a race, gender, class, age, and political views. A study done revealed that women were four times less likely than men to support the death penalty, when controlling for age, class, and State (Baker, Lambert, & Jenkins 2005). Murray (2003) found that men supported the death penalty over life in prison 24% of the time more than women. In his study of federal sentencing, Bowman (2005) concluded that a significant inconsistency existed when relating similar crimes committed by men and women and court verdicts. Men had a one in three chance and women had a one in ten chance of being sentenced to