History of the Death Penalty Essay

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(A) - Early Forms of the Death Penalty Ancient China - First established death penalty laws 18th century BCE - Code of king Hammurabi of Babylon - Earliest form of unified system of justice. Death penalty for 25 crimes, including an “eye for an Eye” 16th century BCE - Egypt - first historically recorded death sentence (a man was accused of using magic) 14th century BCE - Hittite code - also prescribed the death penalty 621 BCE - Draconian code of Athens - ‘the death penalty applied for a particularly wide range of crimes”. 5th century BCE - Roman law of the twelve tables includes the death penalty 3rd century BCE - Jews recorded as using four death penalty methods including: Stoning, Hanging, …show more content…
1531 - Boiling to death becomes an approved method of killing. (“Records show [that] some people boiled for up to two hours before death took them”) 17th Century - England prescribes death for 14 offenses, but the American Colonies impose the death sentence for fewer crimes. 1608 - Captain George Kendall becomes the first recorded execution in the new colonies, for spying on the British on behalf of the Spanish. 1612 - “Virginia Governor Sir Thomas Dale enacted the ‘Divine, Moral and Martial Laws’ which provided the death penalty for even certain minor offences” 1665 - “The New York colony instituted the so-called Dukes Laws” Early 1700’s (18th Century) - The ‘Bloody Code’ made Britain a hazardous place to live, due to its strict nature of its penal code

C - Modern times (1700’s - 2008) Movement toward Abolitionism

“The Abolitionist movement finds its roots in the writings of European Theorists Montesquieu, Voltaire, Bentham and English Quakers John Bellers, and John Howard” Early 18th century - “Over 100 of the 222 crimes punishable by death in Britain are eliminated”. Late 1700’s - “United states abolitionist movement begins”. 1776-1800 - “Thomas Jefferson and four others, authorized to undertake a complete revision of Virginias laws. They proposed a law that recommended the death penalty for only treason and murder”. November

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