The Death Penalty

Essay by K. MandersonUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 1997

download word file, 4 pages 3.7



Phil 1000

March 25, 1997 The death penalty has existed for well over 4000 years. In 1728 BC the code of Hamurabe was passed to allow legal execution. For centuries capital punishment was a public spectacle: states used executions to demonstrate the ultimate consequence of attacking the state. During the 18th century in England executions attracted tens of thousands of people in some cases there would be riots. Also in England the church was allowed to burn people alive at the stake for the crime of heresy. Under Queen Mary Tutor (the infamous 'Bloody Mary') thousands were executed just for not returning to the Catholic faith. Most of these executions took place in the market place so the public would be aware of what would happen if you decided to follow your own religion. Many burned at the stake were women and some were even children.

It is ironic that Christianity is built around forgiveness. Many other gruesome mass executions throughout the ages were performed for minor crimes that today would be classed as misdemeanors.

One of the most vicious methods of execution ever invented was geared not only to inflict pain but to provide a gruesome spectacle for the public. It was the English punishment for treason. It is called hanging, drawing and countering. First you would be dragged to the place of execution on a hurdle. This is a type of sled that was attached to the back of a horse. You would be hanged to the brink of death before being cut down. The third stage of the execution is that the persons gentiles would be cut off and burned in front of the body before it was cut from the going to the chest and the intestines would be taken out and...