Death; the one thing everyone is aware of, but has yet to experience. Penalty; a consequence one would receive if they’ve done wrong. The two words combined make up a horrific consequence to unacceptable actions; the death penalty. This occurrence refers far back in history. The death penalty first began in the 18th Century B.C. in the Code of the King of Hammurabi in Babylon. During this time, the death sentence was a penalty for 25 different crimes. The death penalty carried on over the centuries and became more gruesome; by the 1700s, about 222 crimes in Britain were punishable by death. These deaths would include boiling, beheading, burying at stake, crucifixion, burning alive, drowning, beat to death, and hanging. People were killed for reasons such as treason, marrying Jews, and several others. The British heavily influenced America’s use of the death penalty. With so many European settlers, they brought the practice of capital punishment along with them. In the new colonies, breaking any moral and martial laws would result in the death penalty; things such as trading with Indians, stealing grapes, and killing chickens. However, from 1823-1837 100 crimes were eliminated from being punishable by the death penalty. Today people still receive this sick and cruel punishment. No matter the crime, no human should lose their life as a consequence; this only teaches violence as opposed to a true, moral lesson.
The death penalty is not only morally wrong, but legally wrong as well. All Americans have human rights in which they receive as being citizens in America. These rights are written in several documents; among many, is the Declaration of Human Rights. Within article three of this Declaration it is stated that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.” This quote explains that everyone has a right, in which they were born with, to live their life. There are no ifs or buts in the Declaration, it is a simple declaration that everyone, no matter who, has a fundamental right to living their life. Also written in this declaration, in article five, it is stated that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Although today the death penalty doesn’t involve drowning, beheading, burning, etc. the punishment is still cruel and a form of torture to the human body. Death is no form of pleasure for any human in which the action is being received.
With the death sentence being such a widely accepted punishment, it promotes the acceptance of killing. The laws in place are to prevent crime, not to promote it. Therefore, if our government is killing people, it should not come as such a surprise that there are so many murders that occur each day. Our own government promotes killing as an acceptable solution to a problem, as if there should be posters advertising the punishment. Killing humans should not be broadcasted as it is, the matter should be serious and heartfelt. There should be no promotion to killing, but rather a promotion to the good occurrences that happen daily. Just because the government sets a horrendous example, such as killing people for their wrong doings, does not mean that the example should be set worldwide by all of the people in America. There is still a fine difference between right and wrong in which all are aware of.
As religion is such a large part of our society today, most religions have beliefs that are against any harm to other humans. As written in Exodus 20:13 “Thou shalt not kill.” Murderers and psychopaths do not take these wise words and apply them in practice to life; instead they kill. Their punishment should not be the same as the actions in which they are being punished for, but rather a life lesson. A lesson of sitting in a cell for the rest of their life living each day with the thoughts of how they killed another person’s loved one. There is no worse torture than thinking...