The Death Penalty

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Carolynn Rogers
Mr. Watson
American Gov/Civics (4)
04 October 2011
Project Three

Death Penalty
Watch a man sit on a gurney and “humanely” die. The first chemical closes his eyes and puts him in a deep sleep, while the following injections stop him from breathing, and his heart from pumping. This is legal murder. Is the purpose of the death penalty to remove from society someone who would cause more harm? Is the purpose to remove from society someone who is incapable of rehabilitation? Is the purpose of the death penalty to discourage others from committing murder? Is the purpose of the death penalty to punish the criminal? Is the purpose of the death penalty to take retribution on behalf of the victim? All these questions have yet to be answered. I want the answers NOW! I am completely against the death penalty.

What is the death penalty? The death penalty is the pre-meditated and planned taking of a human life by a government in response to a crime committed by that legally convicted person. The first time that capital punishment (death penalty) was utilized was as far back as the Ancient Laws of China, the death penalty had been established as a punishment for crimes. This “punishment” could date back to the 18th century BC.  The Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon codified the death penalty for twenty five different crimes, although murder was not one of them. The first death sentence historically recorded occurred in 16th Century BC Egypt where the wrongdoer, a member of nobility, was accused of magic, and ordered to take his own life. During this period non-nobility was usually killed with an ax. (1)

The first time the death penalty was utilized in America dates back to 1622. The first legal execution of a criminal in the American Colonies occurs in Virginia with the execution of Daniel Frank for Theft. During this century there was a list of crimes that qualified you for execution. There were 13 things. In America today, there are a...
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