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Capital Punishment

             Capital Punishment is the lawful procedure of the death penalty. Since ancient times ancient times it has been used to punish a variety of illegal offenses. The bible states that the death penalty should be used for such crimes as murder, kidnapping and also witchcraft, but it also states "Thou shalt not kill." In the 1500's in England, only in major crimes was the death penalty used. Crimes such as treason, murder, larceny, burglary, rape, and arson. By 1800 however, Parliament enacted many new capital offenses and hundreds of people were being sentenced to death every year. But by the 1750's, Europe had already started to change and reform the idea of the death penalty. Such great thinkers as Italian jurist Cesare Beccaria, the French philosopher Voltaire, and the English law reformer Jeremy Bentham challenged the idea that the death penalty was justified. They stated that it was needlessly cruel, overrated as a deterrent, and sometimes ended up in fatal errors. Along with Quaker leaders they defended the idea of life in prison and said that it was a better alternative. (Encyclopedia Britannic 2002/ Britanica.com).
             In the 1850's the reform started to take effect. In the United States the death penalty for murder was first outlawed first in Michigan(1847). Venezuela and Portugal then followed in the next 20 years. Today it is abolished in all of Western Europe and most of Latin America. But in Easter Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East(accept Israel) for the most part still authorize capital punishment. .
             Some methods of carrying out the death penalty in biblical times were stoning,(This is where the person convicted of the crime would sit in front of the town, and the towns people would throw stones at the criminal until he lay dead) crucifixion by the romans,(This is Where the would put the convicted criminal on a wooden cross, nail his limbs down and let him slowly drain of blood until he was dead.

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