Essay about The Death Penalty And The Law Of New England

1242 Words Mar 8th, 2016 5 Pages
The death penalty has continuously been used ever since European settlers brought it over in the seventeenth century. “The first recorded execution in the new colonies was that of Captain George Kendall in the Jamestown colony of Virginia in 1608” (“Part I: History of the Death Penalty”). He was executed for being a spy for Spain.

The death penalty varied and each colony had different laws regarding it during colonial times. In Virginia, Governor Sir Thomas Dale enacted the Divine, Moral, and Martial Laws. Under these laws, one could be executed for very minor offenses. In Massachusetts Bay, the Capital Laws of New England went into effect years after its first execution in 1630. Finally, in New York Colony the Duke’s Laws of 1665 were instituted. The Duke’s Laws allowed minor offenses such as denying God to be punishable by death (“Part I: History of the Death Penalty”).

Today, the death penalty has claimed the lives of many, both guilty and innocent. A total of one thousand four hundred and twenty eight executions have been carried out since Gary Gilmore’s execution on January 17, 1977 in the United States. Seven executions have taken place in the year 2016 alone, with all of them taking place in the Deep South. The last time a method other than lethal injection was used was on 1/16/2013. The person executed was forty-two-year-old Robert Gleason and electrocution was the method used (“Executions in the United States”).

Since 1973, more than one hundred fifty six…

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