The Death Penalty Of The United States Essay

1266 Words May 16th, 2016 6 Pages
History
The death penalty has been used as a penalty for disobeying the law since the 18th century B.C., in the Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon. The Hammurabi Code included the death penalty for more than 20 different crimes. Since then, most countries have adopted the death penalty at some point.
The integration of the death penalty in the United States was largely influenced from Britain, as Britain had a major history of capital punishment. In 1612, Thomas Gale, the Virginia governor at the time, created the Divine, Moral, and Martial Laws, which allowed the death penalty for crimes as insignificant as stealing grapes and trading with Indians. In 1622, the first legal execution in the United States occurred. Daniel Frank was hanged for stealing and killing a calf from the previous colonial territory governor of Virginia.
In the period of 1612-1776, throughout the United States, the death penalty was given out for crimes such as arson, piracy, treason, murder, sodomy, burglary, robbery, rape, horse-stealing, slave rebellion, and often counterfeiting.
Many have argued that the death penalty is unconstitutional as well as immoral, with the first reform of the death penalty starting in 1776. Thomas Jefferson, among others, proposed a bill to tighten the boundaries of which crimes were punishable by the death penalty in Virginia. The argument towards this bill was a heated one, and the bill was turned down based on one vote. As you can see, the death penalty has been in…

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