Anti-Death Penalty Essay

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Anti-Death Penalty


History:
The death penalty is not a new idea in our world. Its origins date back 3,700 years to the Babylonian civilization, where it was prescribed for a variety of crimes (Kronenwetter p.10). It was also greatly used in the Greek and Roman empires. In ancient Roman and Mosaic Law they believed in the rule of “eye for and eye.” The most famous executions of the past included Socrates and Jesus (Wilson p.13). It continued into England during the Middle Ages and then to the American colonies where it exist still today. In the colonies, death was a punishment for crimes of murder, arson, and perjury. Although today the death penalty is used for murder.

Common ways of execution in the past where stoning,
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Georgia, (408 U.S. 238). This case was the first time the Supreme Court ruled against the death penalty (http://www.time.com/time/magagzine/archive/1994/940523.crime.html). The rule was a vote of 5 to 4 by the jury. “The dissenting Justices argued that the courts had no right to challenge legislative judgment on the effectiveness and justice of punishments. The majority however held that it was not the actual death penalty that was cruel and unusual punishment, but rather the judicial process, which determined who would receive the death penalty sentence. This process violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment. They decided some factors should be considered before giving a criminal this sentences such as a separate trial for sentencing, the viciousness of the crime, and environment factors like the criminal's background” (http://www.time.com/time/magagzine/archive/1994/940523.crime.html). Due to the way this case was done it created three options for the use of the death penalty. The three options where, mandatory death sentences for certain crimes, development of standardized guidelines for juries and outright abolition (http://www2.law.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/foliocgi.exe/historic/query=[group+…/pageitems=[body]).

This was a stop to the death penalty until the case of Gregg Vs. Georgia, (428 U.S. 153). In this case the Georgia Supreme Court reviewed the rights of constitution and how the…

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