The Death Penalty In The United States

Superior Essays
The Death Penalty laws were first mentioned in the Code of Hammurabi, dating back to 1700 BC. Numerous different empires and countries used the death penalty for consequences of crime. Although many countries began to abolish the death penalty, the United States did not. During the colonial era is when the United States first began using Capital Punishment. In the early 16th century in the Jamestown, Virginia Captain George Kendall was hanged for the capital offense of treason. There were also many other crimes that would lead to the death penalty such a murder, rape and witchcraft. In the late 1600’s William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania limited the death penalty only to murder and treason. The beginning of the 1700’s is when the idea …show more content…
Even though many countries abolished the death penalty from their law, there is still quite a few that still practices the act of killing a person convicted of a crime. People have numerous different opinions relating to the issue of the death penalty that is given to a convict. While some may think that the death penalty is necessary for those who have committed a terrible crime, there are others who consider it as an immoral act that goes against the values of humanity. According to the author William Wood, in his text “Capital Punishment/Death Penalty,” there are generally two arguments that suggest capital punishment is an effective way to save lives and deter numerous crimes. Also, it plays a major role in giving justice to victims. The first argument is “The Deterrence Effect,” which is based on the idea that the use of capital punishment is an operational method to reduce the rate of serious crimes. There are four justifications for the depravation of liberty; incapacitation, rehabilitation, retribution and last but not least, deterrence. There can be two forms of deterrence, …show more content…
Another pro of the death penalty stated in Wood’s text is “ A Deserved Punishment.” During the 1980’s many people were changing the reason why they agreed to the death penalty. Ten years later in the 1990’s Americans deemed the death penalty as something that was deserved. The idea or whether or not it had a deterrent effect on others wasn’t important anymore. Retribution became the main focus, which was the idea that capital punishment was a way to save more lives. The primary objective of retribution was, “not revenge but rather a return of the net balance of justice that has been upended through crime.” Capital Punishment was considered morally right because Americans believed in the eye for an eye concept. Proponents of the death penalty agree that it is an important tool to preserve law and order, to deter crime, and even to lessen the cost rather than life imprisonment. They claim that retribution is a way to show integrity to the victim, to help console-grieving families, and to ensure that the perpetrators of heinous crimes never have an opportunity to cause any future tragedy. On the other hand,

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    dilemmas that the United States faces, the death penalty is one of the most controversial issues of our time period. Currently, there are thirty-two states who allow capital punishment, leaving eighteen states who have banned it (DPIC). Capital punishment is the legalized form of murdering a person without facing the consequences. It is very hypocritical of the United States to turn to murder as a form of serving justice for the supposed well-being of the citizens. The death penalty has proven not…

    • 1376 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The death penalty is an ultimate penalty. There could not possibly be more harsher punishments than putting someone to death. Currently 58 nations use the death penalty. The United States will only use the death penalty if one commits first degree murder. The people who believe in the death penalty believe that this type of punishment will deter murderers. The idea for the death penalty was brought over from great britain. During the 19th century THe death penalty was dramatically changed. Around…

    • 297 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The death penalty has been around since the early eighteenth century B.C. as part of the Hammurabi Code. It has been part of the law codes ever since. Fast forward to tenth century Britain where hanging was the normal method for an execution. The death penalty in the United States were deeply influenced by the British in the early years of the developing colonies. “In the early to mid-Nineteenth Century, the abolitionist movement gained momentum in the northeast. In the early part of the century…

    • 851 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays