The Abolishment of Capital Punishment Essays

1932 Words8 Pages
The Abolishment of Capital Punishment

Capital punishment has been part of the criminal justice system since the earliest of times. But opponents have argued that the death penalty is racist, economically unjustified, and in violation of the United States Constitution as "...cruel and unusual punishment" (“Chronology”). However, today much of the debate over capital punishment is about whether it is morally right to sentence a person who has committed a serious crime to death. This paper will address the moral issues in the controversy over whether capital punishment should be abolished.
The death penalty has been part of most of the world’s justice system since the beginning of civilization. The Hammed code stated, "an eye for and
…show more content…
The laws were stricter in the past; a person could be executed for things such as stealing or being accused of being a witch. The ancient Hebrews inflicted death on any person found guilty of denying the true God or cursing their parents (“Background”). For centuries, England punished by death those found guilty of pickpocketing and petty theft (“Background”).
In 1845, the founding of the American Society for the Abolition of Capital Punishment gave movement to a nationwide anti-death-penalty campaign (“Background”). But this abolition movement did not reach peak strength until the end of the century. Between 1897 and 1917, 10 states repealed death penalty statutes, influenced in part by the reformist sentiments of the progressives (“Background”). During this period, executions occurred far more frequently than they do today (“Background”). Capital punishment has been a continued controversy in the public opinion forum, in state legislatures, and most recently in the courts. In 1972, the case of Furman vs. Georgia involving capital punishment reached the US Supreme Court. The Court decided that capital punishment would violated the Eighth Amendments provision "forbidding cruel and unusual punishment” (“Chronology”). By this decision, death sentences all over the country were set aside. But, four years later, the Supreme Court held in Gregg v. Georgia that under the states’ new two-stage trial system,
Get Access