The Death Penalty Should Be Abolished

1534 Words Dec 11th, 2014 7 Pages
Intro The death penalty gives humans in our legal system rights to decide who deserves to live, a power only God should possess. Capital Punishment takes away our rights as equals. From its origins, the death penalty has been an inhumane, costly, ineffective, and biased form of punishment that needs to be abolished granting everyone their right to live. History of the Death Penalty
Down through history, the death penalty has been adapted to be justifiable in the eyes of the people. By altering the crimes punishable by death and the methods of execution, society conforms the death penalty to meet their standards.
During ancient times, committing a crime was a serious offense often resulting in agonizing death. In the 18th century BC, Hammurabi, the ancient Babylonian king, popularized the death penalty in his infamous code, which enforced the death penalty for 25 different crimes including ones as insignificant as building a house poorly. Following Hammurabi, Draco, an Athenian legislator, codified the death penalty for all crimes. Methods such as impalement, beating to death, and burning alive were used (“History of the Death Penalty”).
Throughout the colonial era, the death penalty was also overly misused. In 1612, “minor offenses such as stealing grapes, killing chickens, and trading with Indians” warranted the death penalty in the Divine, Moral, and Martial Laws of Virginia. While in Massachusetts, innocent people were dying due to the Salem Witchcraft Trials in…
Open Document