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Capital Punishment In 1941, Eithel Lita Juanita Spinelli was the first woman to die in the gas chamber in San Quentin Federal Prison. Juanita, a former gang member, whom was known as “The Duchess”, was charged with first degree murder. Juanita, her husband Michael Simeone, Robert Sherrard, Gordon Hawkins, and Albert Ives were all members of the same gang. They constantly went out and committed robberies. One day as they met for a picnic, fellow gang members brought up that Sherrard had been “talking too much” to some of his outside friends. They all agreed to murder Sherrard because they saw him as a threat, with that fact that he was out speaking about what they had done, and they didn’t want to get caught for it. Back at the hotel that they were staying at, Simeone poured some type of knockout drops into Sherrard’s whiskey. Sherrard soon became unconscious and Spinelli had already made a plan to make it look like a suicide. So they clothed him with his bathing suit and when on to dump his body into a river. Of course the authorities were not convinced. They began to investigate and soon enough they were all captured. On November 21, 1941, 52 year old Juanita was executed. A week after, her husband was next. Was it right for the authorities to execute Juanita? Did she deserve the death penalty? Should capital punishment have a limit on the types of crimes committed? Capital punishment has been used since the earliest societies. It was used for various large crimes such as burglary, murder, treason, counterfeiting, and arson. During the 1700s, the Code of Hammurabi codified the Death Penalty for the first time. This happened to be a legal document that contained the first known death penalty laws. It consisted of 25 crimes that were punishable by death. Yet, murder was not one of those 25 crimes. Their forms of capital punishment were designed to be slow, painful, and torturous (National Museum of Crime & Punishment 2008). More and more approaches for

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