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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 that death should be the end result of crimes committed. Ancient nations came up with legal codes to follow or capital punishment will be given. The crimes that warranted death were considered offensive to God and the people. (Gersham, 2005)
The first record of the death penalty was in in Egypt. In this case the accused was charged with practicing magic. During these times practicing magic was against the legal codes of law and was offensive to both gad and the people. The accused was ordered to take his own life for his crime. (Gersham, 2005)
King Hammurabi designed a Code of law in Babylon, consisting of 282 laws written on 12 tablets. Twenty –five of his code violations resulted in capital punishment. These Codes of laws were one of the first written laws in the world. The laws of Hammurabi had great impact on the western world. (Gersham, 2005)
During Roman times the method of capital punishment was progressing. Under Roman rule one of the most famous executions was the crucification of Jesus. Jesus was accused of political and challenging authority crimes. The capital punishments during Roman rule were used widely to set an example to its citizens. Almost all crimes were resulted in capital punishment. The use of torture was often used before the executions were carried out. The Romans were best known for the public executions for all to see. (Gersham, 2005)
Under the rule of the English capital punishment was for both major and minor crimes. The used multiple forms of capital punishment according to the crime that was committed. Capital punishments for women and men were different. The use of hangings was designed for men and burnings were for women. The type of punishments from upper class and lower class were different. The upper class usually had punishments that were quick and less painful while the lower class was a slow and painful death. The English law only had eight crimes that were punishable by death. The eight crimes of the English law were treason, murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, burglary, arson, and theft. (Banner, 2002)
In America the first settlers was English colonist that carried over their traditions of capital punishment from England. As the colonist settled up and down the east coast they formed their own separate charters. Each charter designed their own laws pertaining to capital punishment and what crimes warranted this punishment. The various charters added other crimes that were not on the original English laws for capital punishment. Religious violations played a...

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