Perhaps one of the most controversial issues this nation or world will ever face is the function and purpose of the capital punishment system known as the death penalty. Since the beginning of the instatement of the death penalty there has been wide spread controversy over its use as well as its practice. This topic has caused lots of commotion between groups that are "pro" death penalty and those that opposed to the use of the capital punishment. Individuals that are opposed to the system of capital punishment will say that the system has flaws and that alone should be enough to end the use of the death penalty. Persons that are "pro" death penalty will argue that carrying out an execution not only eliminates the chance of that person committing another crime but it provides a type of closure for the victims family. There are many factors that come in to play when the death penalty is used as a type of punishment. Do we execute a juvenile, or what about persons who are mentally ill, or is race a determining factor. Studies have shown that African American males are executed at a much higher rate than any other race. Is this because African Americans commit most of the crime or could this be a sign of a defect in the system of capital punishment. What about the costs, there is conflicting data that determinate which procedure is more expensive; life time imprisonment or capital punishment. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. ( Article 3 Universal Declaration of Human Rights). No system is perfect but when someone is found innocent through an appeal it shows us that the system indeed works ( The Death Penalty for Teens Pg. 11).
Although the death penalty dates back to 1608 it was not until 1930 that statistics were collected on a regular basis. It was actually Britain who was the main influence towards America instituting the use of the death penalty. The first recorded execution in the new colonies was Captain George Kendall in Virginia in 1608 for the crime of stealing (http://teacher.