The Death Penalty Debate Essay

The Death Penalty Debate Essay

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Few issues have been as hotly argued and controversial as the death penalty, with its many conflicting moral, social and legal implications. Compelling arguments exist in favor of the final punishment, and equally strong arguments exist to end its practice. Furthermore, considering its conflicting history, on the grand scale of the whole world, and in just America, it is unlikely that this issue will be resolved any time soon. In the United States specifically, the issue has great significance to the bill of rights and the 8th amendment, which prevents cruel and unusual punishment. The death sentence, due to the intense debate on its morality and constitutionality, as well as the many conflicting decisions made about it until this day, still is and will likely remain a very controversial issue in the United States.
The death penalty has existed almost as long as civilization itself, established in the Eighteenth Century B.C. in one of the first large societies, by the Code of King Hammaurabi of Babylon, which prescribed the death penalty for 25 unique crimes. Furthermore, the death penalty continued to be used in early civilization, such as in the Hittite Code, the Draconian Code of Athens and the Roman law of the Twelve Tablets, which spanned hundreds of years. At the time, most death sentences were horrific and painful, including drowning, beating, burning, impalement and crucifixion. Later, in countries such as Britain, hanging became the predominant method of giving capital punishment, and William the Conqueror, who ruled at around that time, abolished the death penalty altogether, then, a dramatic move. However, the death penalty was restarted in the Sixteenth Century under Henry VII, where thousands and thousands of people w...


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...etter, Michael. "Death Penalty and Crime Rates: Need To Know." Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.

KENNEDY v. LOUISIANA. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 February 2014. .

"Part I: History of the Death Penalty." Deathpenaltyinfo.org. Death Penalty Information Center, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.

"Methods of Execution." Deathpenaltyinfo.org. Death Penalty Information Center, 2011. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.

Banks, Cyndi. "Capital Punishment: Overview." Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.

"Capital Punishment: Timeline." Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.

"U.S. Death Penalty Support Lowest in More Than 40 Years." Gallup.com. Gallup, 29 Oct. 2013. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.

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