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The theory a life for a life is as old as civilization itself McCiellan 9 The development of civilizations established what we call justice today Capital punishment the execution of a criminal convicted of a crime or the legal taking of the life of a criminal can be divided into three categories first crimes against the person second crimes against property and third crimes which endanger the security of the nation Horwitz 13 Capital punishment is still in use in the United States today but has been abolished by many countries II 536 The countries that still have the death penalty on their books rarely employ it The earliest writings on the subject dates as far back as 2000 B C but it is clear that capital punishment more or less has existed since the birth of mankind Szumski 25 Throughout history it has been exercised in almost all civilizations as a retribution for severe crimes but sometimes also for the thrill and excitement The Romans put slaves and prisoners in the Coliseum as lion food while spectators enjoyed the sight Horwitz 13 Birger 2 In the early colonial states the death penalty was applied for a vast number of crimes just like in England the ruler of the states in this era II 536 In England in the 18th century there were approximately 220 offenses punishable by death Some of them would today be considered as misdemeanors and petty crimes i e shooting of a rabbit the theft of a pocket handkerchief and to cut down a cherry tree Horwitz 13 The majority of these were crimes dealing with property However transportation became an alternative to execution in the 17th century A lot
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