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Capital Punishment In History

Capital Punishment In History Many people support the death penalty, and a lot of them use the defense that comes from the Bible: an eye for eye, and a limb for a limb. I on the otherhand believe otherwise. Punishment by death, in my opinion, is a very barbaric way of penalization . In the world, it is known that at least 2500 prisoners are executed in at least 37 different countries, on an annual basis. There will be various statistics, opinions, history, and background information discussed through out the residuum of this thesis.

The history of the death penalty, dates back to the days of Hammurabi and his code to the days of the present. The methods nowadays are certainly different, but the objective and goal has remained the same. The earliest known date of any form of organized capital punishment was in 1750 B.C., with Hammurabi and his code. The Bible prescribed death for more than 30 different crimes, including: murder, treason, theft, arson, and rape, to name a few. In the Medieval Times, treason ( grand and petty ) murder, larceny, rape, and arson were all crimes recognized as punishable by death.

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During the reigns of King Canute and William the Conqueror, it was not used at all. By 1800, though, more than 200 crimes were construed as punishable by death, but most were commuted by a royal pardon. In the American Colonies, in the years before the Revolution, it was commonly for a wide variety of offenses. Near the end of the 18th century, though, efforts to abolish it arose in Europe. It was led mainly by the Quakers, who believed in non-violence all together.

Then when influential documents arose, it prompted and inspired the great French philosopher, Voltaire, to oppose it publicly. At the present there are many fundamental questions raised pertaining to the fact that with the death penalty intact and fully operational, isnt the government condoning killing. Also, isnt the government being kind of hypocritical when they say taking a human life is bad, but then they go ahead and do exactly the opposite of what they are saying? One of the axiomatic questions erected is: “Whether the death penalty is more effective than life-time imprisonment?”. Also, is it an effective deterrent to future violent crimes? Defenders point out that since taking a life is more severe than any sentence imaginable, it must be the right and just thing to do. Public opinion in the United States supports it by more than a 2 to 1 ratio.

They, also, point out that there is no other adequate hindrance in life imprisonment that is effective for those who commit heinous crimes inside or outside of the prison walls. On the flip side of the coin, the opposers say that in adjacent states in which one has it and one doesnt, there is no long term significant differences in murder rates and amplitude. Also, and this seems hard to believe, but states that use the death penalty actually show higher murder numbers than states that do not. When a local execution occurs, the murder rates do not fluctuate at all, they stay the same. There are literally thousands of ways to kill someone or something.

But only about 10 of those are used in conjunction with the death penalty, itself. Many of those thousand are considered barbaric and uncivilized by todays standards . There are usually specific procedures for each execution method, to ensure a quick and painless death. There are nine methods of execution that I will now discuss. The first is crucifixion.

Crucifixion was most likely first used in the 6th century B.C. and was last used in approximately the 4th century A.D. Most notably, it was used on Jesus Christ in the year 33 A.D. It is where the person is nailed to a cross for as many hours as it takes them to die from loss of blood. The second is boiling in oil.

Boiling in oil usually occurs after a severe beating has been administered. It burns the cuts and open wounds, it is truly a very painful way of death. Death by boiling in oil is considered savage by todays society. The third is death by beheading. It was used commonly during the Medieval days.

Usually some form of torture is performed beforehand. Some tortuous acts include: partial hanging, taking out and destroying of the innards, and incinerating. It can be carried out with either an ax or a guillotine. For an example, watch the movie, “Braveheart” starring Mel Gibson. The fourth is death by drowning. He/she is usually weighted down with something of a metal nature; i.e.

an anvil. The fifth is “curtains” by hanging. It is the traditional method of execution throughout the English speaking world. It has to be done with very specific measurements, that is why the prisoner is weighed prior to the execution. The “drop” is based on the prisoners weight to deliver 1260 foot pounds of force to the neck. That is done to assure almost instantaneous death. Properly done, death is by dislocation of the third or fourth cervical vertebrae.

It is used in Delaware, Montana, and Washington. The sixth is doom by lethal injection. It was introduced by Oklahoma in 1977. Lethal injection involves the continuous intravenous injection of a fast acting barbiturate in combination with a chemical paralytic agent. Many doctors have pointed out that the drugs may not work correctly or effectively with former drug users or diabetics. In some cases, minor surgery may have to occur.

A total of 27 states use it including: Illinois, North Carolina, among others. Also, the US Military and the US government utilize this method. The seventh technique is dissolution by electrocution. It produces visibly destructive effects on the body. The prisoner often leaps forward against the restraining straps and harnesses, when the switch is flipped.

Also, the body changes color, the flesh swells and may even catch fire, eject feces through the anus, urinate, or vomit blood. Witnesses perpetually report the looming smell of incandescent flesh. States that use it embody: Florida, Kentucky, in the midst of eight others. The eighth methodology is disintegration by way of gas chamber. The prisoner is restrained in a hermetically sealed steel chamber, below which is a pan.

Upon a second signal, about 8 oz. of potassium cyanide crystals or tablets are dropped mechanically into the pan, producing hydrocyanic gas which destroys the ability of blood hemoglobin to perform through out the body. Unconsciousness usually occurs within a few seconds if the prisoner takes a deep breath, and longer if he/she holds their breath. After pronouncement of death, the chamber is expunged through carbon and neutralizing filters. Gas-masked crews decontaminate the body with a bleach solution and the body is out gassed prior to release. An unwary undertaker may be killed if this is not done.

The 9th and last style of executio …


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