Death penalty – capital punishment


Death penalty has begun a long time ago, perhaps since Eighteenth Century B.C.  And a hundred or maybe even thousand numbers of murderers and criminals have been sentenced of it.  But the question still remains and is always debatable whether it is just right to have death penalty or not.

I may not be directly affected by this capital punishment. But at the back of my mind, I also ask why there must be death penalty or not.  And as I balanced my views and ideas about this, the thought that there should no death penalty weighs more.

Now, let’s take a look on the history of death penalty. This punishment has long been practiced since the times of King Hammurabi of Babylon for 25 different crimes. Death penalty was also made as the only punishment for all crimes according to Draconian Code of Athens, Hittite Code and Roman Law of Twelve Tablets.  The punishment of death is carried through drowning, hanging, burning alive, crucifixion, beating to death, and beheading.  And take note of the crimes they considered punishable by death penalty: not confessing to a crime, treason, cutting down and tree and stealing. (Death Penalty Information Center, 2007)

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America was then influenced by Britain during the colonial period.  And the offenses punishable of death includes stealing grapes, killing chickens, denying the “true God” or striking one’s parents.

Seeing that these are only minor offenses if taken into considerations, abolitionist movements were formed. Some became successful of abolishing the death penalty like in Austria and Pennsylvania except for murder and treason. However, it progress again in Twentieth Century and five out of six abolitionist countries reinstated their death penalty as the America enters World War I.  The good thing is that the number of executions decreased as other nations agreed that the death penalty be limited if not abolished.

So even at that time, there are movements of abolishing death penalty.  Although at some point, others see it as a necessary social measure. Still, as many others do so, I don’t agree of this capital punishment. As I believe that no one has the right to take one’s life for whatever reason.

Others argue that death penalty deters crime. But is practicing it not another crime where you also kill a human?  And as always, two wrongs will never make a right thing.

For the past years, hundred numbers of prisoners were found to be innocent and released from the death row.  Imagine how they would face the society again.  They may perhaps be damaged inside, having to fear death, disbelieving the justice and all.  And then there were people who have received the death penalty and in the end were found not guilty.  The deathly penalty is really a cruel punishment and yet was not taken carefully by those in authority.  How can one accept it then?

I also believe that one can still change.  One can still start a new life. One can have a new life with his family.  And death penalty deprived them this chance.

The time they would spend inside the prison would at least let them think about their offenses and realized their mistakes. Sentencing them to death would just make their life easier.  But if they will stay in jail, they would suffer the consequences of their wrongdoings and realize how much prettier life is outside if they didn’t commit the crime.

Now this is my opinion.  And this topic of death has always been debatable for the past centuries.  It is then up to you whether you would agree with me or not.  But maybe we should always look at the facts and not merely standing out with our immediate ideas not only about this capital punishment but with all other issues. Be critical.

College Net Forum. (2007). Retrieved August 26, 2007, from College Net:

Death Penalty Information Center. (2007). Retrieved August 26, 2007, from Death Penalty

Information Center:


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