There is one question that has always brought about controversy. Should
capital punishment be used as a way of disciplining criminals? Over the past
twenty years, there has been an enormous increase in violent crimes. It seems
logical that a person is less likely to commit a given act if by doing so he
will suffer swift and certain punishment of a horrible kind. As most Americans
agree, death is the only appropriate punishment for such crimes.
In ancient times' executions were not uncommon. Even the Bible teaches
capital punishment. It states, "Who so sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his
blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man" (Bible). In ancient times a
set of laws were written which specified many crimes punishable by capital
punishment. These laws were the Code of Hammurabi. Some of the punishable
crimes mentioned included adultery, robbery witchcraft, and murder. During the
Middle Ages, the Church assumed the responsibility of administering punishments.
During the late 1700's the death penalty steadily grew in acceptance. Over
200 crimes were punishable by death at the beginning of the 1800's. There were
just as many methods used to execute wrong-doers as there were crimes. Some of
the techniques used included beheading, stoning, drowning, hanging, crucifying,
and burying people alive. Also used were many nontraditional forms of
execution. One type of execution utilized elephants to crush the criminal's
head on a stone block.
As times changed, so did the death penalty. Laws aimed at abolishing
the death penalty began to evolve at the turn of the century. Even with the
changes made, the effectiveness of capital punishment stayed right on track.
The crimes punishable by death became more specific, while some were eradicated
completely. For example, there are different types of capital murder that have
been specifically defined, but vary from one jurisdiction to another. These
include murder carried out during... [continues]
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(1999, 10). Capital Punishment. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Capital-Punishment-2426.html
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"Capital Punishment." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Capital-Punishment-2426.html.