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Word Count: 690
The famous Philosopher Epicurus once said Death is nothing to us since when we are death has not come and when death has come we are not This quote was once said by Steven Hatch before his execution in 1996 There has been a long list of names of people that have been given the death sentence in this country Many are unaware of the history behind the death penalty in the United States The idea of the death penalty was first introduced by the British and introduced to the United States in colonial times Britain influenced Americas use of the death penalty more than any other country When European settlers came to the new world they brought the practice of capital punishment The first recorded execution in the new colonies was that of Captain George Kendall in the Jamestown colony of Virginia in 1608 Kendall was executed for being a spy for Spain Laws regarding the death penalty varied from colony to colony similar to the United States today The Massachusetts Bay Colony held its first execution in 1630 The New York Colony instituted the Dukes Laws of 1665 Under these laws offenses such as striking ones mother or father or denying God were punishable by death In 1846 Michigan became the first state to abolish the death penalty for all crimes except treason Later Rhode Island and Wisconsin abolished the death penalty for all crimes By the end of the century the world would see the countries of Venezuela Portugal Netherlands Costa Rica Brazil and Ecuador follow The 1960s brought challenges to the fundamental legality of the death penalty In the late 1960s the Supreme Court began fine tuning the way the death penalty was administered One problem that the Judicial system faced was the idea of Jurors being given the decision if a person should receive the death penalty The first case was US v Jackson requiring that the death penalty be
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