Death Penalties Throughout History Essay

Death Penalties Throughout History Essay

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For ages, humans have been ending the lives of others in the name of morality and
lawfulness, the reparation for an infraction of adequate proportions. One person breaks a law or
commonly agreed upon ideal and society proceeds to put the perpetrator to death. Ancient
civilizations to modern day people have implemented the death penalty to ensure the well-being,
and sometimes discipline, of societies around the globe. The first official legal use of the death
penalty dates back to the eighteenth century B.C. in the Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon.
Here the King noted 25 crimes to be punishable by death. In seventh century B.C. Greece, the
Draconian Code of Athens established death as the only penalty to be dealt for all crimes. The
death penalty continued through the early teen centuries in England and the 72,000 death
sentences dealt under the reign of King Henry VIII. (DPIC)
As numerous and morbid as the death penalties in the past have been, from crucifixions
to impalement, killing as punishment still exists today in the United States and is a topic of
heated debate. The majority of America, 32 states, still supports and carries out the death penalty
on a regular basis, killing up to 100 inmates annually. The other 18 states (including the District
of Colombia) have abolished the death penalty. However, the modifications did not allow the
abolishment to be retroactive, leaving many prisoners on death row. Those who have abolished
do so because of a collective agreement enough to vote that capital punishment is unethical as
well as cruel and unusual. The other states still stand on grounds that the population believes that
the death penalty is effective and necessary in the sentencing of convicted persons. The question

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...Apr. 2014.
 Ian Urbina. “Panel Suggests Using Inmates in Drug Trials”. The New York Times. The
New York Times, 13 Aug. 2006. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.
 James Gilligan. “Punishment Fails. Rehabilitation Works.”. The New York Times. The
New York Times, 19 Dec. 2012. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.

Bailey 12
 Kang, Susan. “Forcing Prison Labor: International Labor Standards, Human Rights and
the Privatization of Prison Labor in the Contemporary United States.” New Political
Science Vol. 31. Issue 2 (2009) : p137 – 161. Web.
 McPherson, Sandra B.. “Death Penalty Mitigation and Cult Membership: The Case of the
Kirtland Killings.” Behavioral Sciences & the Law Vol. 10. Issue 1 (1992) : p65 - 74.
 Susan Hillman. “Using Prisoners for Medical Research”. Examiner. Examiner, 6 Feb.
2011. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.
 “U.S. Death Penalty Facts”. Amnesty International. n.d. n.p. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

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