The Death Penalty And The Justice System

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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.
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The ones that support it argue that our justice system shows more sympathy for criminals than victims, and it contributes to the problem of overpopulation in the prison system. I would disagree; our justice system shows more sympathy for victims. The justice system locks up criminals for a really long time and sometimes even life. How is this showing sympathy to them? I would also have to disagree with the death penalty contributing to overpopulation in the prison system in a positive way. I believe that a future criminal would much rather die than spend his life or a greater portion of it in prison. Therefore, a future criminal would be less likely to commit a grand crime if the death penalty was abolished across the United States. The overpopulation in our prisons does not tie in to what we decide to do with the death penalty. I would argue that abolishing the death penalty means financial costs to taxpayers are kept lower because the cost of capital punishment is several times that of keeping someone in prison for life. Also, the death penalty is barbaric and violates the Eight Amendment. “She defines cruelty as ‘the willful inflicting of physical pain on a weaker being in order to cause anguish and fear’”(“Putting cruelty first”). It would seem pretty cruel to hang, gas, or shoot a being in a weaker position would it

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