The Death Penalty : Good Or Bad? Essay
World Studies H
19 November 2014
The Death Penalty: Good or Bad?
Many have argued over whether or not the death penalty should be allowed. The viewpoints, both for and against the death penalty, present a variety of facts to back their opinion up. The death penalty itself has been around for a long time in America; it was brought to America by European settlers in the 1600s. In its early stages, the death penalty served as a punishment for severe crimes as means deter others from carrying out these harsh acts. At this time, there were not yet debates about whether or not the death penalty should be enforced. However, as various written works came to light in the 1700 and 1800s, the usage of the death penalty was challenged. With their own sources fueling their fight, each side took their stand on whether or not the death penalty should be allowed.
The controversy over the death penalty was sparked by eighteenth century philosophers, whose various writings can be attributed to the argument’s growth into the current century. The piece of writing that brought possibly the most significant impact upon the world was Cesare Beccaria’s 1767 essay, On Crimes and Punishment; the essay argued that there was no justification for the taking of a life (Williams). This opposing view gave abolitionists an authoritative voice and allowed them to finally have a say in the topic. Thomas Jefferson was among one of the people greatly influenced by the…