In December, 1607, Captain George Kendall was the first known person to be executed in the territory, now known as the United States of America. Captain Kendall was shot by firing squad, accused of spying against the British for Spain (Green, 2005). On July 7, 1865 on the site of the current Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., four people including the first female to be executed, Mary Surratt, were hanged for co-conspiring with John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (Swanson; Weinberg, 2006). More recently, Timothy McVeigh was executed on June 11, 2001 for the April, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, that killed 168 people including 19 children and injuring hundreds more (2004). These are just a few of the thousands of examples where justice had been served, for the despicable offenses these criminals inflict on the innocent.
Currently, 35 states still impose the death penalty while 16 states, including the District of Columbia, have abolished it. Opponents of capital punishment point out that the states that allow the death penalty experienced 42 percent more murders than the states who have abolished the deat...
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...pleasure in killing our friends, neighbors, and children while they live the remainder of their lives in prison.
Seventeenth century philosopher, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) best summarized the justification for capital punishment with his theory of retributivism. In a famous passage, Kant says: “Even if a civil society resolved to dissolve itself with the consent of all its members--as might be supposed in the case of a people inhabiting an island resolving to separate and scatte
throughout the whole world--the last murderer lying in prison ought to be executed before the resolution was carried out. This ought to be done in order that every one may realize the desert of his deeds, and that blood-guiltiness may not remain on the people; for otherwise they will all be regarded as participants in the murder as a public violation of justice.” (Rachels, 2010)
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