Capital Punishment, Should it be used as a way of disciplining criminals?

Essay by Anonymous UserA, January 1996

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There is one question that has always brought about controversy.

Should capital punishment be used as a way of disciplining criminals? Over

the past twenty years, there has been an enormous increase in violent crimes.

It seems logical that a person is less likely to commit a given act if by doing so

he will suffer swift and certain punishment of a horrible kind. As most

Americans agree, death is the only appropriate punishment for such crimes.

In ancient times' executions were not uncommon. Even the Bible teaches

capital punishment. It states, "Who so sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his

blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man" (Bible). In ancient times

a set of laws were written which specified many crimes punishable by capital

punishment. These laws were the Code of Hammurabi. Some of the

punishable crimes mentioned included adultery, robbery witchcraft, and

murder. During the Middle Ages, the Church assumed the responsibility of

administering punishments. During the late 1700's the death penalty steadily

grew in acceptance. Over 200 crimes were punishable by death at the

beginning of the 1800's. There were just as many methods used to execute

wrong-doers as there were crimes. Some of the techniques used included

beheading, stoning, drowning, hanging, crucifying, and burying people alive.

Also used were many nontraditional forms of execution. One type of execution

utilized elephants to crush the criminal's head on a stone block.

As times changed, so did the death penalty. Laws aimed at abolishing

the death penalty began to evolve at the turn of the century. Even with the

changes made, the effectiveness of capital punishment stayed right on track.

The crimes punishable by death became more specific, while some were

eradicated completely. For example, there are different types of capital

murder that have...