The Death Penalty Is The Punishment For A Wide Range Of Crimes

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Throughout history Capital Punishment or “the Death Penalty” was the punishment for a wide range of crimes. Capital Punishment was used by almost all societies to both punish crime and suppress political dissent. For example, execution was widely employed as a means of oppressing political dissent by fascist or communist governments. Also during the Eighteenth century, Britain executed a person for 222 different crimes including stealing an animal or cutting down a tree. (Jasper, 2008) Many religions have also accepted the use of Capital Punishment as a correct form of punishment. For example, according to the Old Testament, execution was the punishment for blasphemy, adultery, kidnapping, and violating the…show more content…
One of the last public executions was conducted in 1936, when 20,000 people gathered to watch the hanging of a young black male in Kentucky. By the early 1960s, most states had stopped enforcing the Death Penalty. (Jasper, 2008) In addition to State Capital Punishment laws, the Federal government also employed the Death Penalty for certain federal offenses. The first execution under the Federal Death Penalty was carried out on June 25, 1790 in Maine. (Jasper 2008). The Federal Death Penalty differs from the Death Penalty at the state level in that the Federal Penalty encompasses a variety of crimes beyond that of first-degree murder, including terrorism, and large-scale drug trafficking. The Federal Death Penalty can also be applied within any state whether or not it has the Death Penalty. (Jasper, 2008) Between 1790 and 1972, the federal government executed 340 prisoners, including 4 women. The crimes that led to these executions included murder, rape, kidnapping, rioting, piracy, and espionage. (Jasper, 2008) Situational Aspects In 1972, the United States Supreme Court held that the Death Penalty was considered cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eight and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. (Georgia v. Furman, 408 U.S. 238 (1972)). (Jasper, 2008) This landmark holding was based on a review of the existing capital punishment statutes. The Supreme Court did not
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