The Past, Present, And Future Of The Death Penalty

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The Past, Present, and Future of the Death Penalty Joshua Penatzer Florida State college of Jacksonville

“Lets do it!” these were the famous last words of convicted murderer Gary Gilmore. It was the winter of 1976 and the whole country was abuzz about Gilmore. He had shot and killed two people in just a span of two days in Utah. Not only did the jury convict him of two counts of murder but they unanimously proposed the death penalty for Gilmore who was even requesting his own death. At the time the U.S has just reinstated the death penalty and Gilmore was to be the first executed after the law was reinstated. Gilmore had two options for his execution because Utah had the firing squad or hanging as the two ways of execution. Gilmore chose to be shot and once strapped to the chair behind the Utah prison he said those famous last words before being shot to death for his crimes. The famous last words were said to have been the influence on the Nike footwear tagline “Just do it” by the popular advertising executive Dan Wieden.
The death penalty has changed a lot over the last 40 years. At the same time it hasn’t changed at all. At the end of the day someone is tried, convicted, and the executed for the crime they have committed. That much has not changed since its first reported case in America in 1608 when a Captain George Kendall was executed for espionage in Jamestown, Virginia. He was executed by Firing squad. The most recent execution was of a man named

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