Throughout time, American society has developed ideas on how to punish criminals. To prevent crimes, society believes punishing the criminals for their actions will deter themselves and others from doing the same. One of the most controversial forms of punishment is the death penalty. The concept of taking the life of a criminal has been debated for hundred of years, and has not fully come to a universal agreement. As early as the eighteenth century B.C, the human race has used capital punishment. Today, in the twenty-first century, capital punishment continues to be an option in the United States for sentencing criminals. However, society is unresolved over the moral aspects. Many view capital punishment as a deterrent for crimes. These people favor the death penalty, and a majority believe it is should be used more often. Yet, others disagree with the death penalty as a deterrent, they believe that it has little or no effect, and that the death penalty violates one's constitutional rights. Both sides stand behind their views of whether the death penalty should be abolished or stay in continuous effect; therefore, the endless battle between this controversial punishment will never come to a unanimous conclusion.
Capital punishment is not a modern idea. In fact, American society has adapted this law from others. The first known established death penalty laws date back to the eighteenth century B.C with the Code of King Hammaurabi of Babylon. This law allowed over twenty-five different crimes to be punishable by death. Later in the fourteenth and seventeenth century B.C, different countries made death the only punishment for all crimes. The crime rates in these places were at a minimum, due to the knowledge that the punishment would be death. By the end of the fifth century B.C, the Roman Law also adapted the use of capital punishment in forms of crucifixion, drowning, beating, burning at the stake and impalement.