Capital Punishment And Issues


Capital Punishment, legal infliction of the death penalty; in modern law, corporal punishment in its most severe form. Lynching, in contrast to capital punishment, is the unauthorized, illegal use of death as a punishment. The usual alternative to the death penalty is long-term or life imprisonment.
History
The earliest historical records contain evidence of capital punishment. It was mentioned in the Code of Hammurabi (1750 BC). The Bible prescribed death as the penalty for more than 30 different crimes, ranging from murder (see Exodus 21:12) to fornication (see Deuteronomy 22:13). The Draconian Code of ancient Greece imposed capital punishment for every offense.
In England, during the ...

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before the Revolution, the death penalty was commonly authorized for a wide variety of crimes. Blacks, whether slave or free, were threatened with death for many crimes that were punished less severely when committed by whites.
The Reform Movement

Efforts to abolish the death penalty did not gather momentum until the end of the 18th century; in England and America this reform was led by the Quakers (Society of Friends). In Europe, a short treatise, On Crimes and Punishments (1764), by the Italian jurist Cesare Beccaria, inspired influential thinkers such as the French philosopher Voltaire to oppose torture, flogging, and the death penalty. Encouraged by the writings of the philosopher Jeremy Bentham, England repealed all but a few of its capital statutes during the 19th century. Several states in the United States (led by Michigan in 1847) and a few countries (beginning with Venezuela in 1853 and Portugal in 1867) abolished the death penalty entirely.
Where complete abolition ...

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by Oklahoma). In most nations that still retain the death penalty for some crimes, hanging or the firing squads are the preferred methods of execution. In some countries that adhere strictly to the traditional practices of Islam, beheading or stoning are still occasionally employed as punishment.

Effectiveness of Capital Punishment

The fundamental questions raised by the death penalty are whether it is an effective deterrent to violent crime, and whether it is more effective than the alternative of long-term imprisonment.
Defenders of the death penalty insist that because taking an offender's life is a more severe punishment than any prison term, it must be the better deterrent. ...

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Added: 4/16/2005 07:41:42 AM
Category: Legal Issues
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1642
Pages: 6

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