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...