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Capital Punishment

             The death penalty at the current time is the harshest form of punishment that can be enforced in the United States. The death penalty and its methods have become a heated controversial issue, as death row has become excessively populated. Important aspects of Capital Punishment are the history, methods of execution, costs, the pro's and con's. The death penalties interesting history has made it what it is today. Capital Punishment, the executing of a convicted person, has been an accepted form of justice through the ages. Sharon C. Smith explains when this type of punishment first began: Evidence of Capital Punishment can be found in the earliest historical records. This evidence was in the Code of Hammurabi (1750 BC). The Bible provided for execution for over thirty crimes, and the Draconian Code of Ancient Greece imposed capital punishment for every offense (Smith, 2). The death penalty was typically used more commonly centuries ago, for a number of crimes. The death penalty was first used in United States when Daniel Frank was put to death in 1622. He was convicted of theft in the Colony of Virginia. From that time on, capital punishment has almost always been a feature of the criminal justice system in the United States (Smith, 2). In 1764 a man by the name of Becarria published essays on Crime and Punishments and concluded capital punishment should be done away with. Becarria is generally acknowledged to have begun the modern crusade to eliminate the death penalty. Ever since Becarria many people have also believed that the death penalty is wrong. From 1930 to 1997, 4291 people were executed under civil authority. Through the years many people questioned the death penalty. Adam Hugo Bedau explains the result of this: The American debate concerning the morality and unconstitutionality over capital punishment raged on for several years but came to a sudden climax in the event of 1972.

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