Death Penalty Essay

1533 words - 6 pages

Throughout history, societies have punished criminals by executing them, but today many countries have abolished the death penalty. In the United States however, the federal government and many of the states continue to sentence convicted criminals to death. This leads us to the question: Should the government have the power to sentence convicted criminals to death? Before we approach this question lets take a look at the history of the death penalty and other factors that could affect the answer to this question.Although the first case of capital punishment is not documented, we know that it was brought to North America by European colonist in the 18th century. In Europe, murderers, thieves, spies, alleged witches, and over 100 other so-called "crimes" were punished by death. Although hanging was the most common form of execution, other methods such as stoning, beheading, burning at the stake or being broken on a wheel were used. Hangings usually took place at high noon on a main street or in a town square to be viewed by the public. They were excitedly watched as if it were a new episode of the sopranos. In fact public executions often turned into outdoor festivals in which the city advertised the execution through posters, handbills, and notices in newspapers. In the 1700's after being convicted and sentenced to death, unlike today, you would be executed usually within less than a week.Executions moved through from hanging and other methods to electrocution. When in 1889, New York passed the electrical Execution Act, which declared death by the electric chair as the state's new method of execution. As with many other ways of executing people, this way is both cruel and unusual punishment. Although there are many instances were cruel and unusual punishment were used, I am going to give you one example and let you judge for yourself. In August of 1890 the first man to be sentenced to the electric chair was William Kemmler. This execution did not go smoothly, as the current was not set strong enough, and had to be stopped and started several times. After approximately 10 minutes of this torture he died. As more humane ways of executing criminals came about such as the gas chamber, firing squad and lethal injection came about, there was a short period of time, from 1972 to 1977 where there were no executions. Capital punishment was outlawed as result of the Furman vs. Georgia case. This victory was short-lived as the court's decision in Gregg vs. Georgia upheld the death penalty, which has been legal ever since. It is up to each state to determine whether to impose the death penalty and in what ways to execute criminals.Slide #3 In the 38 states and federal government that currently have death penalty's statutes, five different methods of execution are prescribed: Slide #4 Lethal Injection, Electrocution, Lethal gas, Firing Squad, and Hanging.Now that we know more about the death penalty, should the government have the power to sentence convicted...

Find Another Essay On Death Penalty

Death Penalty Essay

952 words - 4 pages The employment of the death penalty as the ultimate criminal sanction has been subjected in enormous debates. Many people view that capital punishment should be illegal. Since 1977, the executions have increased almost eighty-five percent. The number of people put on death row has risen from five hundred to over thirty-five hundred. Some of the popular reasons that many people want capital punishment to be illegal are poverty issues with

Death Penalty Essay

753 words - 4 pages Death Penalty, also known as capital punishment, was the act of “putting a convicted, or guilty, criminal to death” (Britannica Encyclopedia). Death Penalty was given out for a large numbers of crimes hundred years ago. By the early 21st century 75 countries abolished death penalty for all crimes. In some countries that didn’t abolish death penalty was seldom or never used (Britannica Encyclopedia). There are 140 countries who abolished death

Death Penalty

1169 words - 5 pages Death Penalty The death penalty, outlawed in most of Europe, Canada, Australia and most other countries in the world, is still practiced in almost 40 states in the U.S. Today, there are more than 3,000 people on death row waiting the day of their execution. They are put to death by methods such as hanging, electrocution, lethal injection and by firing squad. Since the death penalty was reinstated bye the supreme court in 1976, by the Gregg v

Death Penalty

1604 words - 6 pages Death Penalty Virtually every major program designed to address the underlying causes of violence and to support the poor, vulnerable, powerless victims of crime is being cut even further to the bone… In this context, the proposition that the death penalty is a needed addition to our arsenal of weapons lacks credibility… Scott Harshbarge, Attorney General of Massachusetts Across the United States, police officers are losing their

Death Penalty - 1751 words

1751 words - 8 pages The Other Side of Death Penalty Imagine that you have just been arrested. You've never been in trouble with the law before. You are now taking a long and arduous journey through the criminal justice system. There is a new language, rules, procedures, and customs all foreign to you. You might as well be on Mars. This journey is unplanned, unwanted and a disruption to your life. You are in the middle of it and cannot get out until the justice

Death penalty

1006 words - 4 pages - -The Death Penaltyby Juan BrenesAn eye for an eye, a life for a life? Does this philosophy hold true in thetwentieth century? Is the death penalty a 'Cruel and Unusual' punishment or is itnow a necessary tool in the war on crime? With the increase in crime andviolence in our society due not only to gang and drug activities, but alsopsychotic murderers, our criminal justice system must decide whether or notdeath as a form of criminal punishment

death penalty

1169 words - 5 pages Capital Punishment Should Not Be AbolishedCrime is a part of every society, and it occurs in different forms. Obviously, something needs to be done about it. The death penalty is one kind of punishment for criminals in several countries, including the United States. The legal definition of capital punishment is "The court- ordered imposition of a sentence of execution as punishment for a crime" ("Death Penalty"). Capital punishment has been

Death Penalty

1893 words - 8 pages The Death PenaltyZarianna HurleySociology 1010Professor Mellissa McKennaNovember 4, 2014What do you think about the death penalty? Is there anything you would change about the process of it? Do you think there is a better way to deal with murders and rapists? These are the questions that I asked not only myself, but many people while writing this paper. It is my opinion most people will be for the death penalty. To support my thesis I need to

Death Penalty - 2168 words

2168 words - 9 pages The Death PenaltyZarianna HurleySociology 1010Professor Mellissa McKennaNovember 4, 2014What do you think about the death penalty? Is there anything you would change about the process of it? Do you think there is a better way to deal with murders and rapists? These are the questions that I asked not only myself, but many people while writing this paper. It is my opinion most people will be for the death penalty. To support my thesis I need to

Death penalty

735 words - 3 pages Death penalty is the execution of an offender who is sentenced to death by the court of law (of a criminal offense). Dating back to the Eighteenth Century B.C, the first established death penalty laws codified the death penalty for 25 different crimes. The debate of whether one should abolish the death penalty has existed for 300 hundred years. Although most European countries have already got rid of this punishment, there are still countries

Death Penalty

951 words - 4 pages Death Penalty      When turning on the television, radio, or simply opening the local newspaper, people are bombarded with news of arrests, murders, homicides, and other such tragedies. I believe murder, including the death penalty, is the worst thing that anyone could do. Since Hammurabi first introduced the notion of “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, people have been arguing over whether this is just punishment. Those in favor of

Similar Essays

Death Penalty Essay

1115 words - 4 pages Thesis It is more reasonable to utilize the death penalty than to abolish it. The death penalty should not be abolished because (1) it deters people from committing murder and (2) because the death penalty gives peace of mind to the victims and their families and puts an end to the crime.      Arguments for the thesis (1) The death penalty should not be abolished because the fear of the highest form of punishment

Death Penalty Essay 1816 Words

1816 words - 8 pages Is it justifiable and effective to murder a murderer? The death penalty is one form of severe punishment in the United States. People who have performed heinous crimes can be sentenced to capital punishment in some states; however, this type of chastisement is rarely performed. Capital punishment has more negative aspects than it has positive. The states that have legalized the death penalty face the excessive costs associated with it, which can

Death Penalty Essay 670 Words

670 words - 3 pages The Death Penalty      The Death Penalty can be considered one of the most debated issues in the United States. The death penalty is a judicially ordered execution of a prisoner for a serious crime, often called a capital crime (Capital). There are many people that oppose the death penalty and then there are many people who are for the death penalty. People who oppose the death penalty feel that it is not humane or it might be too expensive

Death Penalty Essay

1003 words - 4 pages Those who believe that deterrence justifies the execution of certain offenders bear the burden of proving that the death penalty is a deterrent. The overwhelming conclusion from years of deterrence studies is that the death penalty is, at best, no more of a deterrent than a sentence of life in prison. The Ehrlich studies have been widely discredited. In fact, some criminologists, such as William Bowers of Northeastern University, maintain that