This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Capital Punishment Throughout History Essay

1668 words - 7 pages

Murder is an undeniably common occurrence in our society; its perpetration can only be prevented or punished. Since biblical times, the law of equivalent exchange has been interpreted as an “eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” Capital punishment is a form of retribution for the loved ones of a victim and can be construed as a deterrence to homicide. Because all men have an inherent moral code and the ability to control their own fate, capital punishment should be continued in the United States.
From the moment a man enacts violence against an innocent person, he has denounced the principle of individual rights. He chooses to no longer act as a rational being, but rather a predator among men, to harm and destroy those around him. Rationality is the human reasoning and the source of human rights. Those who contradict rationality are detrimental to society and have no rights. Sensibility dictates, when opposed by a subsequently harmful influence it should in turn be dealt with as an act of justice, or greater good (Laundauer, Rowlands).
The most complicated aspect of justice is the proportionality of the offense. When a thief takes another person’s property they can be charged with petty theft and be sentenced to a few months of incarceration, this is how the justice system equalizes the robber’s actions. If instead the thief kills the property owner in cold blood and assumes possession in this manner he then deserves a far more severe punishment, but what kind of punishment is equal to that of a human life? To properly proportion a brutal murder to even a substantial sentence such as life imprisonment does not quite suffice because the victim was not afforded the same option. The right to life cannot be dismissed in such a way and go unpunished by our justice system, that is why capital punishment is still used in these more clear cut judicial capacities.
Questions surround the ethics of the death penalty as to the fairness in deciding who and why they are executed. Considerations and details of the legality of the death penalty are referred to the Constitution. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments both impart direct references to capital punishment. The Fifth Amendment states: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand jury…” It and the Fourteenth go on to state that no person shall “… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…” With this indisputable proof that the Constitution theorized the high probability of the use of capital punishment (Riley).
Retribution is commonly confused as a form of revenge when in fact it is merely the simple idea of seeing someone who has committed a great offense compensate for their actions. If a crime is heinous or grotesque enough the death penalty has to be considered. Nothing is certain as to the length of an inmate’s sentence or what technicalities could benefit their situation. The...

Find Another Essay On Capital Punishment Throughout History

History of Capital Punishment in America and its Controversies

1119 words - 5 pages The history of the capital punishment has been around since the beginning of the world we live in today. As the years have come and gone the use of capital punishment has been passed down throughout the generations of countries. One of the first uses of capital punishment dated back to the Old Testament. During biblical times God punished the world for its sins by causing a flood to destroy mankind. Many ancient cultures followed by deciding

The History of Capital Punishment as a Deterrent to Crime

2741 words - 11 pages : Point-Counterpoint. Philadelphia: Chelsea HP, 2003. Torr, James D and Laura K. Egendorf. Problems of Death: Opposing Viewpoints. SanDiego: Green Haven Press, 2000 Introduction to the Death Penalty. Death Penalty Information Center. 2009. 08 December 2009 < http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/part-i-history-death-penalty> The Pros and Cons of Capital Punishment in the USA. Thoughts.10 December 2009.

Capital Punishment. Objective paper on the death penalty, history of, facts etc

1586 words - 6 pages ). Capitalpunishment is still in use in the United States today, but has been abolished by many countries(II 536). The countries that still have the death penalty on their books, rarely employ it .The earliest writings on the subject dates as far back as 2000 B. C., but it is clearthat capital punishment more or less has existed since the birth of mankind (Szumski 25).Throughout history, it has been exercised in almost all civilizations as a

Capital Punishment: This piece shows both sides to the death penalty. Includes history and statistics

2929 words - 12 pages Depression. There were more executions in the 1930's than in any other decade in American history, an average of 167 per year. In the 1950's, public sentiment began to turn away from capital punishment. Many allied nations either abolished or limited the death penalty, and in the U.S., the number of executions dropped dramatically. Whereas there were 1,289 executions in the 1940's, there were 715 in the 1950s, and the number fell even further, to

History and the Pros and Cons of Capital Punishment

1136 words - 5 pages Capital PunishmentCapital punishment is a death penalty for committing a crime. This is a very controversial topic. Some people find this law barbaric and unethical. Others agree with this law because they think it deters crime. Some people ask themselves: Is it really a deterrence? The New Testament says God commands the use of capital punishment, then why is it that some states forbid it? What effect does it have on society?Common reasons in

Capital Punishment

1439 words - 6 pages life is a sacred gift and should not be discriminated against. In addition, Walter Rodgers expresses his feeling throughout the article America’s New Drug of Choice: Revenge. Rodgers reminds citizens life is not all about vengeance. Also, Rodgers reminds people about the history of executing innocent people in our nation. The two previous authors show a few perspectives regarding capital punishment. Arguments often erupt when authors share

Capital Punishment: Main Aspects of this Controversial Topic

1258 words - 5 pages Throughout history, humans have committed crimes even before they were labeled as crimes. Nowadays, different crimes are punished in different ways depending on where you live in this world. This leads to the main focus of this essay, capital punishment. Moreover, capital punishment, or as it is sometimes labeled a death sentence, is one of the many controversial issues in modern times. For the purpose of this essay, capital punishment could

Capital Punishment

647 words - 3 pages really researching this topic, my narrowed mind began to open up. I began to realize the problems that are associated with the death penalty. In addition, my views on capital punishment have changed dramatically.Thesis statement: By disagreeing with capital punishment, people as a whole will be able to save money, do what is morally right and end this cruel and unusual punishment.Preview: Throughout this speech I will cover three main points. First

Analysis of the Controversial Issue of Capital Punishment

2444 words - 10 pages also compared different periods in states which had capital punishment at some times of their history and not at others, but have found no difference in favor of the times and places with capital punishment. Studies have also looked at the number of murders in a particular city just before and just after an execution, expecting to see a major decrease in murders following an execution. The statistics in this study showed a minimal difference

Death Penalty and Deterrence

3489 words - 14 pages issue that is discussed and evaluated nearly every day. Capital punishment has its roots in history though. Ever since man has formed societies he has used capital punishment as a form of punishment for criminals. The United States has also been using capital punishment for a long time. Many people think that capital punishment is a very barbaric form of punishment that should be gotten rid of. They think that no civilized nation should allow such

Capital Punishment Esay

1812 words - 8 pages u.s. history," 2009). The Code of Hammaurabi was a legal document that accommodated the first known laws for capital punishment. It was written in the 1700s BC and under the code, it stated that twenty-five different crimes were punishable by death penalty. Such crimes were the following: stealing, adultery (either a husband or wife having an affair), and assisting slaves in escaping and/or harboring them (Guernsey, 2009). Surprisingly, murder

Similar Essays

The History Of Capital Punishment Essay

2147 words - 9 pages sponsored executions, with the total executions in the world in ranging in the thousands, due to the undocumented executions performed in China and about 75% of all executions in the world occurred in the three countries of Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. (Amnesty International, 2013). The use of capital punishment has been a practice that have been performed as far back as the beginning of human society. According to Michael H. Reggio’s “History

The History Of Capital Punishment Essay

1587 words - 6 pages misguided injustice, and an impractical and wasteful act. Capital punishment has a complicated history, both worldwide and particularly in the United States. Due to the efforts of human rights groups and evolutions in society, the world has many fewer executions today than decades and centuries ago. According to the United States Department of Justice, there were forty-six executions in 2010. Forty-six is a little under the average of the past

History Of Capital Punishment In America

921 words - 4 pages most controversial issues the majority of people have a firm stance, either supporting or opposing. The history of the death penalty in the United States has fluctuated greatly over time. In 1608 the first victim of Capital Punishment was executed. Captain George Kendall was sentenced to death and executed for espionage. Shortly after in Virginia Governor Sir Thomas Dale launched the Moral, Devine, and Martial Law. These laws called for the

A Brief History Of Capital Punishment

1981 words - 8 pages Living in a world where more than 10.1 million people are held in penal institutions, many countries have decided to go for a more cruel kind of retribution. Capital punishment, one of the many subjects in which several points of view have been expressed, has always been an issue concerning human rights. Whether a man should punish another by taking away his life or keeping him in jail is basically what most people are concerned about. Being