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The Death Penalty A wise man once said to be able to argue your point you must completely understand the point of your opponent and to do this you must research the topic with an open mind As an adult I have always believed in the theory of an eye for an eye but never took the time to examine why people were opposed to killing someone who has committed and been convicted for the crime of murder In this paper I will show the history behind the death penalty and why people oppose its use in todays society The first established death penalty laws date as far back as the eighteenth century BC in the code of King Hammaurabi of Babylon which qualified death for twenty different crimes The death penalty was also part of the fourteenth century BC Hittite code the seventh century BC s Dranconion code of Athens which made death the only punishment for all crimes Death sentences were carried out by such means as crucifixion drowning beating to death burning alive and implalement In the Tenth century AD hanging became the usual method of execution in Britain In the Sixteenth century under the reign of Henry VIII the death penalty still existed Some methods of execution at that time were boiling burning at the stake hanging and beheading By the 1700s there were 222 crimes that were punishable by death in Britain Britain influenced Americas use of the penalty more than any other country did When settlers came to this country they brought with them the practice of capital punishment The first recorded execution was that of Captain George Kendall in the Jamestown colony of Virginia in 1608 Kendall was executed for being a spy for Spain By 1612 Virginia Governor Sir Thomas Dale enacted the Devin Moral and Martial laws which provided the death penalty for even minor offences such as trading with Indians
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