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The Death Penalty
Some people are for the death penalty, and some are not. I hope after reading my essay you will have a better understanding of what the death penalty is and how it works, and maybe you too will change your views and ideas about the death penalty as I did. The earliest historical records contain evidence of capital punishment. A Babylonian King, Hammurabi that lived in the first half of the 18th century BC mentioned the death penalty in the code of Hammurabi, (a collection of laws and edicts). Many Bibles such as the Youth Walk Devotional Bible, mention death for the penalty for many different crimes, ranging from murder (Exodus 21:12 "Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death.") to fornication (Deuteronomy 22:22, "If a man is found sleeping with another man\'s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die.") In the 11th century AD, the death penalty was not used in England, but torture and interrogation were often used, but in many cases it ended in death. In America, before the Revolution, the death penalty was used for a variety of different crimes such as treason, murder, larceny, burglary, rape, and arson. African Americans were usually sentenced to death for small petty crimes that if a white person had committed they would have been punished less severely, if even at all. Effort to abolish the death penalty was fought for many years until the 18th century, in England and America, the Quakers led the reform movement. In 1847, a few countries such as Venezuela and Portugal began to abolish the death penalty, and started spreading all throughout the United States. The first known execution was in the United States, Daniel Frank from Virginia. Daniel Frank was put to death in 1622 for the crime of theft. Obviously, the death penalty has been used for many centuries. The question seems to be, is the death penalty really effective? A Fundamental question raised by the death penalty are whether the death penalty is really effective, or is it more effective than the alternative of long-term imprisonment. According to scientific studies, the studies have failed to show any evidence that the death penalty deters crime better than other punishments. The Bureau of Justices stated that the death penalty makes police officers and guards much safer, police officers and prison guards are not murdered as often in the U.S. states without the death penalty than in states where the death penalty exists. Is the death penalty just a punishment for homicide? Recent crime figures from abolitionist countries fail to show that abolition has harmful effects. Abolition is a term for the abolishing of the death penalty in countries that either do not have a death penalty for crime or extradition agreements with other countries. In Canada the homicide rate per 100,000 people fell from a peak of 3.09% in 1975, the year before the abolition of the death penalty for murder, to 2.41% in 1980, and since then it has remained relatively stable. In 1993, 17 years after abolition, the homicide rate was 2.19% per 100,000 people, 27% lower than in 1975. The FBI Uniform Crime Reports Division state that in the United States in 1995, states that have abolished the death penalty averaged 4.9 murders per 100,000 people while states still using the death penalty averaged 9.2 murders. These statistics emphasize that in absolutely no state has the number of murders diminished after legalizing the death penalty. If our states and countries are using the death penalty and believe its justice, why is it that more than half of the inmates on death row is of the black race? What kind of justice is that? The race and the crime seem to play a huge role in the determination of the sentencing. For example if a black male had stolen like a candy bar out of a store, and got 10 years, that proves its more than likely an issue of race than the crime. But also if a black man murders someone, the death penalty is probably going to be a sentence, and a sentence of justice in my opinion. In a lot of
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Capital punishment, Penology, Murder, Life imprisonment in the United States, Capital punishment debate in the United States, National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
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