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Capital Punishment by iamgenius Capital punishment has been the center of much controversy dating back to its origins Although the roots of capital punishment can be traced as far back as 1697 BC arguments over its effectiveness and morality continue in the midst of its existence today There are many people who have come up with reasonable arguments for both sides of the issue Most people who believe that the death penalty is a fair punishment use the argument lex talionis meaning an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth an arm for an arm a life for a life Hooker 1996 p34 While most people who are in opposition use the argument that capital punishment is a cruel and unusual punishment which violates the eighth amendment to the United States Constitution In the times surrounding the origins of capital punishment it was used for a wide variety of crimes Capital punishment can also be found in the Bible The Bible prescribed the death penalty for crimes such as murder kidnapping and witchcraft By 1500 AD in England only major felonies carried the death penalty treason murder larceny burglary rape and arson Lexicon Universal Encyclopedia 1989 The United States inherited capital punishment from European settlers in the seventeenth century They promoted the idea that heinous crimes deserved severe punishment And this is what brought capital punishment to its present standing In the United States justice system a proportionate punishment is achieved in the case of a person who committed a crime when the death penalty is enforced Williams 2000 p17-24 By 1800 Parliament had enacted many new capital offenses and hundreds of persons were being sentenced to death each year Today in the United States there are approximately 3624 people on death row as of 202 Pro-death Penaltycom 2001 Throughout history there have been many methods of executing criminals Some of these methods are crucifixion stoning drowning burning at the
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