Capital Punishment Essay

Decent Essays

A famous expression, “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” has become the basis for this political debate over the past several decades --- capital punishment. In society today, many people are murdered every day by the hands of another human being. Those who are for capital punishment promote that it is a deterrent for crime, provides closure, and is a moral punishment for those who choose to take a human life. Those not in favor of it argue that it is an ineffective crime deterrent, sends the wrong message, and is more expensive than sentencing a murderer to life in prison. When those who commit these heinous crimes are found guilty in the court of law, the loved ones of the victims often wants the murderer to be sentenced to …show more content…

If the offense that a person committed was not serious, many juries would not convict them due to the severity of the death penalty. “This lead to reforms of Britain's death penalty. From 1823 to 1837, the death penalty was eliminated for over 100 of the 222 crimes punishable by death.” (Randa, 1997) Capital Punishment was introduced to America when European settlers came to the new world. In 1608, Captain George Kendall was the first execution recorded which was held in the Jamestown colony of Virginia. He was given the death penalty for being a spy for Spain. Four years later, the Divine, Moral and Martial Laws were approved by Virginia’s Governor Sir Thomas Dale. This new set of laws provided the death penalty for even minor offenses such as stealing grapes, killing chickens, and trading with Indians. From colony to colony, laws pertaining to the death penalty differed. Although the Capital Laws of New England did not go into effect until years later, the Massachusetts Bay Colony had its first execution in 1630. The Duke’s Laws of 1665 was established in the New York Colony. These laws made it possible for offenses such as striking one’s mother or father, or denying the “true God,” punishable by death. There have been 13,000 people who have been executed since colonial times. “By the 1930’s up to 150 people were executed yearly. Lack of public support for capital punishment and various legal challenges reduced the

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