The Chair The Needle The Gas Chamber

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The Chair, The Needle, The Gas Chamber Essay, Research Paper The Chair, The Needle, The Gas Chamber. The death penalty or capital punishment, is a controversial issue that a lot of people have debated. It has been part of the criminal justice system since the earliest of times. During the 1700 B.C., the Babylonians decreed death for crimes, even minor ones. The early Egyptians were also accustomed to the enforcement of the death penalty. Egyptians were sentenced to death for a crime, such as disclosing the location of sacred burial grounds. In today s world, capital punishment is still a part of the criminal justice system. Every time someone is sentenced to death a question of whether capital punishment is right arises. Should it be included in our justice systems? In

dealing with the issue of whether capital punishment is right or not, we should consider all of the arguments involved. We must consider the economic argument, the deterrence argument, the retributive argument, and the utilitarian argument for capital punishment. After understanding these arguments, we will see that, although a majority of people thinks putting criminals to death is wrong and must be banned, the practice of capital punishment is nonetheless a justifiable option. Historical Information Capital punishment is the oldest and most commonly used punishment since the earliest times. It is a punishment that is still used in our modern justice systems. Capital punishment is retained in 92 countries and territories in 1990, including the United States (37states), China,

and Islamic Countries.1 In the Collins College Dictionary, Capital punishment is defined as the punishment of death for committing a serious crime. In Roman law the term had a wider significance and meant, besides the summum supplicium (death), those punishment that affected the caput (status) of the citizens, namely banishment ( aquae et igni interdictio ) under the republic or deportatio (deportation) under the empire, and condemnation in opus perpetum (of a life sentence to hard labor).2 The earliest forms of capital punishment were by the guillotine (in France, from 1792), the garrote or strangulation (in Spain), the headsman s ax (in Germany), or by fracturing the neck by hanging (in England).3 Now, some forms of capital punishment used are electrocution, lethal injection

and the gas chamber. From the early Roman laws to today s justice systems there are a lot of things that changed in the method of punishment and to which type of crimes the death penalty will be used for. In the early times, the death penalty is sentenced to very minor crimes, like stealing, but today it is only sentenced to criminals who commits crimes like murder and terrorism. The administration of the death penalty also made an evolution from the bloody guillotines to the silent but deadly lethal injections. Biblical Insights Capital punishment can be traced back to the biblical times. In the Bible there are quite a few verses that support capital punishment. In Genesis 9:6, (from the New American Bible,) it states the following passage: If anyone sheds the blood of man, by

man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has man been made. This passage not only supports the death penalty but also approves of it and encourages it. Another biblical passage, taken from Matthew 26:52 also supports the death penalty. It states: Jesus said to him: Put back your sword where it belongs. Those who use the sword are sooner or later destroyed by it. This passage proves that Christ himself regarded capital punishment as a just penalty for murder when he said this passage to one of his disciples after he tried to kill a soldier who had come to arrest Jesus.4 Also, in Exodus 21:12-14 it reads the following: Whoever strikes a man a mortal blow must be put to death. He however, who did not hunt a man down, but caused his death by an act of God, may flee to a