It is known that, “The first established death penalty laws date as far back as the Eighteenth Century B. C. in the Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon, which codified the death penalty for 25 different crimes” (“Introduction to the Death Penalty”). In the seventh century B. C. the death penalty was a part of the Draconian Code of Athens while the death penalty was the only punishment for any crime. During this time, the death penalty came to the extent of drowning, beating to death, crucifixion, impalement, and being buried alive (“Introduction to the Death Penalty”).
In the tenth century, Britain began using hanging as the usual method for punishment. William the Conqueror made it a law in the eleventh century that no executions could be made unless in the time of war (“Introduction to the Death Penalty”). At the time of war, burning, boiling, and hanging had became the common execution techniques. Treason, being a Jew, and not confessing to crime could be just a few reasons of being put toward the death penalty (“Introduction to the Death Penalty”).
Because there were so many death penalty cases in the 1700’s, the jury started to not assign the penalty unless it was a very serious case. In 1767 Cesare Beccaria wrote an essay, On Crimes and Punishment, his essay talked about how in now way was it right to take someone else’s life (“Introduction to the Death Penalty”). The essay was able to get the abolishment of the death penalty in Austria and Tuscany. In 1834, Pennsylvania was the first state to establish a law regarding that the death penalty should be moved away from the public’s eye (“Introduction to the Death Penalty”).
In a ten year time period starting at 1907, three states limited the right to use the death penalty to only be used in the rarely committed crimes like treason and first degree murder involving a law enforcement official. In 1920, five of the six states had brought back the death penalty and continued to use it (“Part I: History of the Death Penalty”) . Four years later, the use of cyanide gas as a more humane way of killing the prisoners.
In the 1960’s the death penalty was starting the be questioned if it was apart of “cruel and unusual punishment” and if it was unconstitutional against the eighth amendment (“Part I: History of the Death Penalty”) . On June 29, 1972 the death penalty was suspended because the law regarding the death penalty were no longer valid. Less than half of Americans support the death penalty (“Part I: History of the Death Penalty”) Less than half of Americans support the death penalty.
It is proven that, “Majorities of Blacks (63%), Hispanics (50%), 18-29 year-olds (51%), college graduates (51%), Democrats (58%), and people with no religious affiliation (50%) now oppose the death penalty and—while comprising less than a majority—more women, Independents, and Catholics say they oppose the death penalty than support it” (“PEW POLL: Public Support for the Death Penalty Drops Below 50% for First Time in 45 Years”). Religion can in fact change a person’s viewpoints toward the death penalty. In a recent interview, Dale S. Recinella said, “God didn’t make us to feel good about being part of the machinery of death. (Salai).
He continues on to say that the crimes that the people do to be put on death row are not as bad as killing the criminal on purpose because no matter what the crime is they are still killing someone’s loved one. It is said that the biblical death penalty has 44 mandatory requirements in order to kill someone using the death penalty and what we use today does not reach to any of the requirements (Salai. ). Most Bible followers can not stand the idea of following the death penalty because it does not go along with the scripture in the Bible (Salai. ).
Judaism followers believed that as their own rights the government should be able to take a stand against the death penalty and stop it. They believe that most people are punished correctly for their crime, but some are punished incorrectly (Yanklowitz,). Places like Alaska, Connecticut, Michigan, Hawaii, and Wisconsin do not allow the death penalty. As of May 2013, 18 states and the District of Columbia have banned the death penalty across the United States (“Methods of Execution Used in Capital Punishment and States That Have Abolished the Death Penalty”).
States like Connecticut abolished the death penalty because they thought it went against their state constitution; in other words Connecticut viewed the death penalty as unconstitutional (“States With and Without the Death Penalty”). It is known that, “A clear majority of voters (61%) would choose a punishment other than the death penalty for murder, including life with no possibility of parole and with restitution to the victim’s family (39%), life with no possibility of parole (13%), or life with the possibility of parole (9%). (“Public Opinion About the Death Penalty”)
The nation’s police chief ranks the death penalty as last in a list of thing that are known to help crime reduction go down. They said it was a waste of taxpayer dollars in the category of crime fighting (“Public Opinion About the Death Penalty”). It is a raising question of why the poor are the ones who have to pay the tax dollars that make the death penalty happen but then it is the poor who always get served with the death penalty (“Top 10 Pros and Cons”).
Studies have showed that over the last year, North Carolina has spent over $11 million a year on the death penalty (“Financial Facts About the Death Penalty”). Over 50% of the United States population thinks that the death penalty should be put on hold while it is put under a careful review. Most of law enforcement do not think that the death penalty does any good when it comes to a punishment tool (“Public Opinion About the Death Penalty”). Some studies say that the death penalty cost more to do than a sentencing to life in prison without parole.
In a recent study in 2014, approximately 45% likes LWOP (life without parole) (“Public Opinion About the Death Penalty”). Some say that the death penalty goes against the constitution, with it being cruel and unusual (“Top 10 Pros and Cons”). Although only 13% of the population makes up African Americans, over 50% of the current death row is made up of African Americans. The biggest argument against the death penalty is that it is considered to be racist and biased (“Top 10 Pros and Cons”).
In a recent article, Dr, Daisy Kouzel stated the “The death penalty violates the sanctity of human life. (Kouzel). A majority of Americans are for the death penalty. Over the past two decades, the number of Americans for the death penalty has been dropping. Although they support the death penalty, they still fear that an innocent person might get put to death (Berman). People who are for it say that people who commit murder and take someone’s life should have their own life taken too (Jones). In a recent study, “Gallup asked Americans why they favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder.
More than half of those who favor the death penalty cite something about revenge (i. . , “an eye for an eye”, 37%), the convicted deserving to be executed (13%), justice (4%), or fair punishment (3%) as their reason for supporting the death penalty. ” (Jones). Society has always used the strongest punishment possible to try to keep “would-be” criminals away from the crimes they might consider. If a murderer was sentenced to death and execution, the followers of that murderer would think twice about committing the crimes. The people who are for the death penalty call this deterrence (“Arguments for and Against the Death Penalty”).