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Capital Punishment: A Negative Way to Deter Crime Essay

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An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, and a foot for a foot is a well known phrase that means when someone commits a wrongdoing against another person they must be punished the same way. But how far can this statement go, should the government have rights to kill someone if a person kills another? Or does anyone have the right to sentence a person to the death penalty even if they stole grapes or killed a chicken? The death penalty may limit crime, but it is not a positive form of punishment due to the financial burdens on the government, killings of the innocent, and moral and ethical issues.
The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is the most extreme measure of all sentencing (Schmalleger 407). The death penalty has existed since the Ancient Laws of China punishing those who committed crimes. The first documented laws were from the Eighteenth Century BC in the Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon. In the Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon there were twenty five crimes that could result in the death penalty; none of them were for murder (Frontline). Hittite Code from the Fourteenth Century BC also included the death penalty. By the Seventh Century every crime that was committed resulted in the death penalty under the Draconian Code of Athens (Death Penalty). The Roman Law of the Twelve Tablets also included the death sentence. A person could be crucified, beat to death, burned alive, impaled, or drowned for the execution (Death Penalty). A few crimes during the Fifth Century BC in the Roman Law that resulted in the death penalty were: perjury, murder of a freeman or parent, theft, cutting or grazing of crops that were planted by a farmer, or burning a house.
By the Tenth Century AD, B...


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...to be killed by the government, it is not moral or ethical treatment. The best form of punishment is a lifelong chance for reflection. The death penalty is an easy way out for those who commit crimes; since they will be dying they do not have to live with the guilt. Executing someone is only revenge, not a learning experience for others. The government is teaching the wrong idea to people by allowing people them to seek revenge with the death penalty. With fifteen states against the death penalty, the United States is headed into the right direction. Too many innocent people have died already for too much money. If the United States wants to be a model country the government should try to demonstrate peace and cooperativeness by allowing criminals to live and show some mercy to them. Perhaps the best lesson is the one that the victims will never know, life.


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