Capital Punishment: Is it right or wrong?.
The death penalty has not remained constant throughout American History . It has undergone numerous changes and reforms in the past two centuries, falling in and out of public favor. The death penalty has been in our legal system since our legal system was created, but still remains one of the most controversial punishments in United States history. Each person can form their own opinion on the death penalty, but ultimately the government sees the death penalty as a just form of punishment for those who commit such horrible crimes as murder. Capital punishment, to many people, seem cruel and unusual, but its purpose is to punish those who committed such horrendous crimes as murder and to make people who would otherwise commit these violent acts think twice before they go out and commit crimes such as murder. .
Although in the past, the number of crimes that were subjected to capital punishment, defined simply as the death penalty for a crime, were outrageous. Amendments were made to reflect the changes in the society's views on the morality of capital punishment. That resulted in the narrowing down of the list of one hundred crimes to twelve, punishable by the death penalty in 1833, and in 1869 it was cut down yet again to just three: treason, rape, and murder because of violent nature of these crimes. These crimes, even today, are still viewed as violent and should be punished with the highest degree of discipline available to achieve justice. "In the United States alone there have been 4047 executions since 1930, and 188 were from 1977-1996. The death penalty is an expensive punishment, since 1976 the United States have spent 700 million dollars in it."(Tabak54) Throughout the years of the death penalty there has been several forms of execution including: hanging, facing a firing squad, lethal injection, electrocution, and the gas chamber, but in recent years only two types of execution have been used, lethal injection and the electric chair.