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The History of the Death Penalty Essay

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Throughout the history of man there has always existed a sort of rule pertaining to retribution for just and unjust acts. For the just came rewards, and for the unjust came punishments. This has been a law as old as time. One philosophy about the treatment of the unjust is most controversial in modern time and throughout our history; which is is the ethical decision of a death penalty. This controversial issue of punishment by death has been going on for centuries. It dates back to as early as 399 B.C.E., to when Socrates was forced to drink hemlock for his “corruption of the youth” and “impiety”.
A brief history of the death penalty is in order so that one can be aware of this laws nature since that is how one would start to understand how it can be applied most virtuously and to understand its morality. The death penalty can be traced as far back as the Eighteenth Century, B.C.E. where the Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon applied the death penalty to be instated as a punishment for 25 different crimes. Also it has been seen in the Fourteenth Century B.C.E in the Hittite Code; in the Seventeenth Century B.C.E’s Draconian Code of Athens (a code which made the only punishment for all crimes death); and in the Fifth Century B.C.E.’s Roman Law of the Twelve Tablets(this law was the start of a formal law which carried out death sentences by means such as crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burring alive, and impalement)
The origins of the death penalty in the Ancient World were very brutal executions. The penalty was most prevalent in the Tenth Century A.D when Britain used the classic hanging. From then on the death penalty had a kind of rocky existence and eventually ended up being eliminated for situations o...


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...cal manor and still seem arbitrary. The only sure answer that can be concluded when discussing topics of this nature is that; until there is known objective truths about these moral dilemmas, no one answer will ever be able to be deemed merit able over any other.





Works Cited



http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/part-ii-history-death-penalty
http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.public.iastate.edu%2F%7Ejwcwolf%2FReadingsIntrF07%2FWriting%2520Assignment%2520F07.htm&h=b9407TOQekYZf23_PRXagqsnnYg
Cairns, Huntington, and Hamilton, Edith. The Collected Dialogues of Plato. Socrates Defense (Apology).Library of Congress Catalogue, Nineteenth printing, May 2010
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/famous-cases/kansas-city-massacre-pretty-boy-floyd
http://library.thinkquest.org/12663/summary/

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005141


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