Death Penalty- Cruel and Unusual Punishment?
It is one of the biggest topics to debate over; is it right to execute or is it cruel and unusual? I for one, think that the death penalty should not be around. I believe it is the ‘easy way out’ for criminals. I believe if someone does something wrong, they should have the upmost punishment. Not only to be put to death and be done with the crime. The first established death penalty laws date as far back as the Eighteenth Century B.C. King Hammurabi of Babylon codified the death penalty for 25 different crimes. Many deaths were executed by crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burning alive, and impalement (DPIC 1). Many years later, in the tenth century A.D., Britain started using hanging as their only form of execution. In the following century, William the Conqueror would not allow persons to be hanged or otherwise executed for any crime, except in times of war. This trend would not last, for in the Sixteenth Century, under the reign of Henry VIII, as many as 72,000 people are estimated to have been executed (DPIC 1). Many common methods of execution at the time of Henry VIII were: boiling, burning at the stake, hanging, beheading, and drawing and quartering. These executions were carried out for capital offenses. Capital offenses in those times were marrying a Jew, not confessing to a crime, and treason. By the 1700’s Britain would execute people for stealing, cutting down a tree, and even robbing a rabbit warren (procon.org). Britain had the greatest influence on America to use the death penalty. The first recorded execution in the new colonies was of Captain George Kendall in the Jamestown colony of Virginia in 1608. Kendall was executed for being a spy for Spain. In 1612, Virginia Governor Sir Thomas Dale enacted the Divine, Moral and Martial Laws, which provided the death penalty for even minor offenses such as stealing grapes, killing chickens, and trading with Indians (DPIC 1). In America the first...
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