With the birth of man comes the birth of crime and hence with the birth of crime is the origin of punishment. Punishments vary based on the seriousness of the offense; robbery can result to months in prison and murder can lead to the death of the convicted man. Many Americans share the same attitude that the convicted must pay for his misdeeds to society. However, should the convicted pay with his life? Should he give up his right to live because of his offense? Americans seek that justice is done and to seek this justice, many turn to the death penalty. However, can killing a murderer be justified as an act of morality? When the trial is over and the innocent has been separated by the guilty, the moment of punishment begins. The old adage, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" is often used to justify capital punishment, that the convicted man should experience the pain that he has caused on his victims. The old adage tells us that a person may steal from a thief, that a person can wrong those that has wrong him or her, but do we, as a society, have the right to decide on whether a person lives or dies? Do we have the right to kill those who have killed and if we do kill the murderers, does that, technically, make us murderers ourselves and doesn't that make us hypocrites? We hold a hypocrisy that the society must not possess any longer. .
The death penalty expresses the society's desire for vengeance and the belief of a life for a life and it is this very idea that has contributed to the long existence of capital punishment. Every culture has relied on capital punishment and justified it as a necessary tool for exacting retribution or maintaining order. Over the course of time, methods to kill those found guilty were changed. In ancient Persia, one method of execution involved being eaten alive by insects and vermin. In the Middle Ages, methods of execution included chopping off arms and legs, impaling on a stake, stripping off the condemned person's skin, boiling in oil, drawing and quartering, burning at the stake and crucifixion.