Capital Punishment Essay example

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Capital Punishment

Capital punishment, also called the death penalty, is "death by execution" as stated in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. The death penalty is a sentence given to criminals charged with first degree murder, although most often than not, the majority of inmates on death row live years in a state penitentiary before their execution takes place. There are many historical changes, religious beliefs, and opposing view points held with the subject of capital punishment.

The first established death penalty laws date as far back as the reign of King Hammaurabi in the eighteenth century B.C. There were as many as twenty-five different crimes all punishable
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Depending on what faith (if any) a person believes in, the opinion of the general public in light of capital punishment varies. Jesus Christ underwent the death penalty by crucifixion. His trial was affected by popular opinion, is frequently depicted in religious art and the cross, and is the primary symbol of Christianity. For many Christians, this is enough to condemn capital punishment. Those in favor of capital punishment most often build their views with a few verses in the New Testament. For example, in Romans 13:3-5, the apostle Paul appears to advocate the death penalty as an appropriate method to punish criminals:

"For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you wish to have no fear of the authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive its approval; for it is God's servant for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain! It is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrong-doer. Therefore one must be subject, not only because of wrath but also because of conscience."

Nonetheless, Christians are divided about the issue. For example, while the Byzantine Empire replaced most death sentences with mutilation (such as cutting off the tip of the criminal's

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