Capital Punishment is the killing of a convicted person who has committed a violent and heinous crime. Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is determined through a court of law and is not enforced in all states of the United States of America. It is not used in all murder cases, only those who have been convicted of committing atrocious killings (Hood). The death penalty is solely utilized for the cases in which the convict has committed a crime that has made him or her potentially a threat to society. Some of the crimes committed that receive the death penalty in the state of Texas include: multiple murders, planned murder, repeated crimes, and/or rape and murder. The death penalty has been used since the beginning of history – although it may not have been called such. Monarchies, as well as other forms of government have used the death penalty. Throughout time, people have researched the most painful or slow deaths possible and used these deaths on all sorts of crimes, whether it be offending the wrong person or murdering someone. However, the idea of capital punishment was somewhat restricted when the English Bill of Rights was written. This document prohibits the use of “cruel and unusual punishments”.
The death penalty has been used with over millions of people throughout history. For example, during the Roman Empire, Jesus Christ was executed on the cross through capital punishment. He was said to have been convicted of the crime of “blasphemy”, which in that day and time was considered by the Jewish people an extremely dishonorable crime (The Life Recovery Bible). In the eighteenth century B. C., King Hammurabi established the code of Hammurabi. This code contained laws and punishments for his people, which included the death penalty. Surprisingly enough, murder was not included in this document (“Capital Punishment”). The Greek law maker, Draco, wrote the laws for Ancient Greece in 621 B.C. It is said that his laws were “written in blood” to illustrate to the people of that time that all crimes were punished by death (“Capital Punishment”). In the fifth century B.C., the Roman Law of Twelve Tablets was established. This law proclaimed that several crimes were punishable by death. Some of these crimes are as follows: the stealing of crops, loud behavior in public, murder, and treason (“Capital Punishment”). Also, in England some of the crimes that Englishmen thought deserved the death penalty were stealing another man’s turnips, talking to gypsies, picking pockets, and even cutting down trees (“Capital Punishment”). Today capital punishment remains a huge controversy. People all over the world debate on if it is the right thing to do and if it is morally correct. Some wonder how can the act of murder be taken seriously if the punishment for it is less harmful? Mike Royko, a Chicago journalist states: “When I think of the thousands of inhabitants of Death Rows in the hundreds of prisons in this country...My reaction is: What's taking us so long? Let's get that electrical current flowing… Whenever I argue this with friends who have opposite views, they say that I don't have enough regard for the most marvelous of miracles - human life. Just the opposite: It's because I have so much regard for human life that I favor capital punishment… Anything less than the death penalty is an insult to the victim and society. It says.. that we don't value the victim's life enough to punish the killer fully." (Lowe) In this excerpt, Royko believes when one allows the killer to live, it is severely offensive to not only the victim, but likewise the family of the victim. He also makes a valid point when he says that he supports capital punishment because he does value human life! It is believed that potential murderers would be less likely to commit the crime if the punishment were death. Why should it be acceptable in this day and age to allow a man who took someone’s life the...
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"Who speaks for the victims of those we execute?" Pro-Death Penalty.com. Ed. Charlene Hall. 05 Oct. 2008. 11 Nov. 2009 .
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