History of the Death Penalty

The death penalty has been debated since the beginning of civilization. The death penalty was first developed by the Greeks for major punishment. The first method that they used was stoning however, today it is mostly done by a lethal injection or

hanging. Today a total of 94 countries and territories use the death penalty for any kind of crime, including the United States. In the other 57 countries in the world, the death penalty no longer exists. There are currently thirty-four out of fifty states to still have the death penalty. Should the death penalty be allowed, or should it be abolished?

There are plenty of reasons that one would consider the death penalty. The person that committed the crime deserves to be punished. If the person that committed the crime killed people than he should have to die for that crime. There is an ancient saying that states “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”-Hammurabi, 1792. This means that you if do something to harm another person, that same thing will be done to you. If we fallowed this rule today the person that committed a crime would get the death penalty. There are several events in our society that would qualify for the death penalty. The rule is basically if you kill a lot of people you will receive the death penalty. When somebody is sentenced to life in prison, rather than the death penalty, they have to be paid for to keep them alive. We have to pay that money from our taxes to keep a criminal alive. If he is going to spend that long in prison, he might as well be dead. Also, the victim’s family deserves revenge from a man that killed one of their family members. If someone is only in prison for a short amount of time, but committed a serious crime, he could get out and cause even more trouble. This person should be gotten rid of right away by the death penalty.

There are also several reasons that the death penalty should be abolished. If a prisoner is given twenty years and changes while he’s in there, he deserves to be free. Everybody deserves a second chance. A good example of this is Michael Vick. He was sentenced to a couple of years in jail for dog fighting. After he does his time the NFL says he won’t be able to play any more. If he does his time and has good behavior, he should be able to play again. What if a prison is tried and proven guilty and sentenced to the death penalty, but later is proven innocent. What should happen then? There was a story where a man was sentenced to life in prison, but later after twenty years it turned out that he didn’t commit the crime. What should this man get for having to spend twenty years in jail. It is reasons like these that we should not have the death penalty. If a person is sentenced to many years in prison, he can get out and have good behavior, and go on to live a normal life. Should people who have mental retardation be given the death penalty? There was an incident in 1989 where a man was sentenced to the death penalty. The lawyer had not realized that he had not told the judge that the man was mentally retarded. The jury said that they would have never proven him guilty if they knew that he was mentally retarded. It is reasons like this that the death penalty should be abolished.

Should the death penalty be allowed, or should it be abolished? I believe that the death penalty should be allowed. If you get into enough trouble to go to prison for life, you should have to die for committing the crime. We also have to pay for prisoners to stay in jail. They could also get out early and cause more harm than what they did before. An example of this is Saddam Hussein; if he was not hanged right away he would go out and cause even more trouble. The death penalty should be allowed to any country that wishes to do it.

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