The Functionalist Theory Of Capital Punishment In Colonial America

869 Words4 Pages
Capital punishment, or better known as the death penalty, began around the eighteenth century B.C. when The Code of King Hammaurabi of Babylon implemented the death penalty for 25 different crimes. In the 16th century, Henry VIII created edicts that caused about 72,000 people to be put to death by acts such as hanging and drawing and quartering. New Colonial America did not have prisons to hold criminals so the main source of punishment was the death penalty. Captain George Kendall was the first person on record, in the new colonies, to be sentenced to death. In 1632, in Jamestown, Virginia, a woman by the name of Jane Champion became the first woman to receive the death penalty in the colonies. On June 29, 1972, in the case of Furman V. Georgia, the supreme court ruled that capital punishment violated the…show more content…
Functionalists would believe that the death penalty deters crime but it has not been empirically proven. There have been more murders in states that have the death penalty in place (Ballantine, Roberts, and Korgen). Conflict theorists would only look at the biases of the sentencing rather than the death penalty in its entirety. Sentencing has been proven to be bias, such as in the case of Timothy Tyrone Foster. Foster was convicted of murder in 1987 but his jury was all white and handpicked by the prosecutors (de Vogue). Although the biases do have an impact on opinions of its necessity, it is just one of the many factors in it. Symbolic interaction theory does not describe the problems with execution because it would see it as a symbol set to make people not want to commit serious offenses. The state of North Carolina is a good example as why that is not true. North Carolina has not executed anyone since 2006 and since then murders in the state have declined ("Failure to Deter Crime
Open Document