Social Work 486
June 11, 2012
Capital Punishment is a very controversial topic. When discussing this subject we must include several topics in order to fully understand the matter. We must discuss the history, the religious aspect, the moral aspect, the types of capital punishment, the kind of people that receive capital punishment, including there childhood. We begin with the definition and a brief history. Capital punishment is a legal process whereby a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime. The execution of criminals has been used for centuries in almost all societies. In most situations, capital punishment was reserved for treason, murder, and espionage. In other countries, crimes such as rape, incest or adultery were treated with the death penalty. Some historical styles of the death penalties were boiling to death, crucifixion, impalement, stoning, dismemberment, sawing, and slow slicing. In 1820 Britain, many crimes were punishable by death, including shoplifting, stealing cattle, cutting down trees, and petty theft. America was influenced by Britain’s use of the death penalty more than any other country. When European settlers came to the new world, they brought their practices, which included capital punishment. The first execution on record, took place in the new colonies of Jamestown. The victim was accused of being a spy for Spain in and sentenced to death in 1612. The laws regarding the death penalty changed from colony to colony. Some colonies sentenced people to death for simply stealing fruit, while others only sentence for more significant crimes. (Sandiford, F 2012).
During Colonial times people started to debate the death penalty. Does the state have the power to take someone’s life? Does anyone have that kind of power? Thomas Jefferson attempted to reduce capital punishment in Virginia by introducing a bill to revise death penalty laws. The Bill stated...