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“Death penalty” and “Death sentence” redirect here. For other uses, see death penalty (disambiguation) and Death sentence (disambiguation).
“Execution” and “Execute” redirect here. For other uses, see Execution (disambiguation) and Execute (disambiguation).
For other uses, see capital punishment (disambiguation).
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The question as to whether the state has the right to execute a person found guilty of murder has been debated at length for decades. As with the subject of abortion, it is one of the most controversial topics of discussion in our country today. According to the website religious tolerance.org. about 60 to 80% of American adults say they want to retain capital punishment ( 2). In fact, there are ...
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Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is the killing of a person by judicial process as a punishment for an offense. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from Latin capitalis, literally “regarding the head” (Latin caput).
Hence, a capital crime was originally one punished by the severing of the head.
Capital punishment has in the past been practiced in virtually every society, although currently only 58 nations actively practice it, with 95 countries abolishing it (the remainder having not used it for 10 years or allowing it only in exceptional circumstances such as wartime). It is a matter of active controversy in various countries and states, and positions can vary within a single political ideology or cultural region. In the European Union member states, Article 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union prohibits the use of capital punishment.
Today, most countries are considered by Amnesty International as abolitionists, which allowed a vote on a nonbinding resolution to the UN to promote the abolition of the death penalty. However, over 60% of the world’s population live in countries where executions take place insofar as the four most populous countries in the world (the People’s Republic of China, India, United States and Indonesia) apply the death penalty and are unlikely to abolish it in the near future.
1.1 Movements towards humane execution
2 Contemporary use
2.1 Global distribution
2.2 Execution for drug-related offences
2.3 In specific countries
2.4 Juvenile offenders
... still retain the death penalty for some crimes, hanging or the firing squad is the preferred methods of execution. In some countries that adhere strictly ... views and ideas about the death penalty as I did. The earliest historical records contain evidence of capital punishment. A Babylonian King, Hammurabi ...
3 Controversy and debate
3.1 Wrongful executions
3.2 Public opinion
3.3 International organisations
4 Religious views
4.4.1 Roman Catholic Church
4.4.2 Anglican and Episcopalian
4.4.3 United Methodist Church
4.4.4 The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
4.4.5 The Southern Baptist Convention
4.4.6 Other Protestants
4.4.8 Eastern Orthodox Christianity
4.4.9 Esoteric Christianity
5 In arts and media
5.2 Film, television, and theatre
6 See also
8 External links
8.2 In favour
8.3 Religious views
Execution of criminals and political opponents has been used by nearly all societies—both to punish crime and to suppress political dissent. In most places that practice capital punishment it is reserved for murder, espionage, treason, or as part of military justice. In some countries sexual crimes, such as rape, adultery, incest and sodomy, carry the death penalty, as do religious crimes such as apostasy in Islamic nations (the formal renunciation of the State religion).
In many countries that use the death penalty, drug trafficking is also a capital offense. In China, human trafficking and serious cases of corruption are punished by the death penalty. In militaries around the world courts-martial have imposed death sentences for offenses such as cowardice, desertion, insubordination, and mutiny.
Anarchist Auguste Vaillant guillotined in France in 1894The use of formal execution extends to the beginning of recorded history. Most historical records and various primitive tribal practices indicate that the death penalty was a part of their justice system. Communal punishment for wrongdoing generally included compensation by the wrongdoer, corporal punishment, shunning, banishment and execution. Usually, compensation and shunning were enough as a form of justice. The response to crime committed by neighbouring tribes or communities included formal apology, compensation or blood feuds.
Death Penalty Introduction Informed arguments against the death penalty are more persuasive than arguments in favor of it, as the negative affects of the death penalty have become widely publicized and illustrate the ineffectiveness of this cruel punishment. The death penalty is an inefficient form of punishment as innocent offenders may be executed, superior forms of restitution are available, ...
A blood feud or vendetta occurs when arbitration between families or tribes fails or an arbitration system is non-existent. This form of justice was common before the emergence of an arbitration system based on state or organised religion. It may result from crime, land disputes or a code of honour. “Acts of retaliation underscore the ability of the social collective to defend itself and demonstrate to enemies (as well as potential allies) that injury to property, rights, or the person will not go unpunished.” However, in practice, it is often difficult to distinguish between a war of vendetta and one of conquest.
Severe historical penalties include breaking wheel, boiling to death, flaying, slow slicing, disembowelment, crucifixion, impalement, crushing (including crushing by elephant), stoning, execution by burning, dismemberment, sawing, decapitation, scaphism, or necklacing.
The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer, by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883).
Roman Colosseum.Elaborations of tribal arbitration of feuds included peace settlements often done in a religious context and compensation system. Compensation was based on the principle of substitution which might include material (e.g. cattle, slave) compensation, exchange of brides or grooms, or payment of the blood debt. Settlement rules could allow for animal blood to replace human blood, or transfers of property or blood money or in some case an offer of a person for execution. The person offered for execution did not have to be an original perpetrator of the crime because the system was based on tribes, not individuals. Blood feuds could be regulated at meetings, such as the Viking things. Systems deriving from blood feuds may survive alongside more advanced legal systems or be given recognition by courts (e.g. trial by combat).
One of the more modern refinements of the blood feud is the duel.
Giovanni Battista Bugatti, executioner of the Papal States between 1796 and 1865, carried out 516 executions (Bugatti pictured offering snuff to a condemned prisoner).
Vatican City abolished its capital punishment statute in 1969.In certain parts of the world, nations in the form of ancient republics, monarchies or tribal oligarchies emerged. These nations were often united by common linguistic, religious or family ties. Moreover, expansion of these nations often occurred by conquest of neighbouring tribes or nations. Consequently, various classes of royalty, nobility, various commoners and slave emerged. Accordingly, the systems of tribal arbitration were submerged into a more unified system of justice which formalised the relation between the different “classes” rather than “tribes”. The earliest and most famous example is Code of Hammurabi which set the different punishment and compensation according to the different class/group of victims and perpetrators. The Torah (Jewish Law), also known as the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Christian Old Testament), lays down the death penalty for murder, kidnapping, magic, violation of the Sabbath, blasphemy, and a wide range of sexual crimes, although evidence suggests that actual executions were rare. A further example comes from Ancient Greece, where the Athenian legal system was first written down by Draco in about 621 BC: the death penalty was applied for a particularly wide range of crimes, though Solon later repealed Draco’s code and published new laws, retaining only Draco’s homicide statutes. The word draconian derives from Draco’s laws. The Romans also used death penalty for a wide range of offenses.
Against Capital Punishment Against Against Capital Punishment Essay, Research Paper Against Capital Punishment At 8: 00 p. m. it was nearing the end of John Evans last day on death row. He had spent most of the day with his minister and family, praying and talking of what was to come. At 8: 20 he was walked from his cell down to the long hall to the execution room and strapped in the electric ...
Islam on the whole accepts capital punishment. The Abbasid Caliphs in Baghdad, such as Al-Mu’tadid, were often cruel in their punishments. In the medieval Islamic world, there were a handful of sheikhs who were opposed to killing as a punishment. In the One Thousand and One Nights, also known as the Arabian Nights, the fictional storyteller Sheherazade is portrayed as being the “voice of sanity and mercy”, with her philosophical position being generally opposed to punishment by death. She expresses this though several of her tales, including “The Merchant and the Jinni”, “The Fisherman and the Jinni”, “The Three Apples”, and “The Hunchback”.
Similarly, in medieval and early modern Europe, before the development of modern prison systems, the death penalty was also used as a generalised form of punishment. For example, in 1700s Britain there were 222 crimes which were punishable by death, including crimes such as cutting down a tree or stealing an animal. Thanks to the notorious Bloody Code, 18th century (and early 19th century) Britain was a hazardous place to live. For example, Michael Hammond and his sister, Ann, whose ages were given as 7 and 11, were reportedly hanged at King’s Lynn on Wednesday, September 28, 1708 for theft. The local press did not, however, consider the executions of two children newsworthy.
Capital Punishment in America What is capital punishment? The dictionary defines capital punishment as a noun that means putting a person to death. At the end of 2003 there were 3374 inmates at 37 state and federal prisons who were on death row. That number was an 188 decrease from the statistics in 2002. Forty-seven of theses inmates were female which was a thirty-eight increases from 1993. ( ...
Although many are executed in China each year in the modern age, there was a time in Tang Dynasty China when the death penalty was abolished. This was in the year 747, enacted by Emperor Taizong of Tang (r. 712–756), who before was the only person in China with the authority to sentence criminals to execution. Even then capital punishment was relatively infrequent, with only 24 executions in the year 730 and 58 executions in the year 736. Two hundred years later there was a form of execution called Ling Chi (slow slicing), or death by/of a thousand cuts, used in China from roughly 900 CE to its abolition in 1905.
Mexican execution by firing squad, 1916Despite its wide use, calls for reform were not unknown. The 12th century Sephardic legal scholar, Moses Maimonides, wrote, “It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent man to death.” He argued that executing an accused criminal on anything less than absolute certainty would lead to a slippery slope of decreasing burdens of proof, until we would be convicting merely “according to the judge’s caprice.” His concern was maintaining popular respect for law, and he saw errors of commission as much more threatening than errors of omission.
The last several centuries have seen the emergence of modern nation-states. Almost fundamental to the concept of nation state is the idea of citizenship. This caused justice to be increasingly associated with equality and universality, which in Europe saw an emergence of the concept of natural rights. Another important aspect is that emergence of standing police forces and permanent penitential institutions. The death penalty became an increasingly unnecessary deterrent in prevention of minor crimes such as theft. The argument that deterrence, rather than retribution, is the main justification for punishment is a hallmark of the rational choice theory and can be traced to Cesare Beccaria whose well-known treatise On Crimes and Punishments (1764), condemned torture and the death penalty and Jeremy Bentham who twice critiqued the death penalty. Additionally, in countries like Britain, law enforcement officials became alarmed when juries tended to acquit non-violent felons rather than risk a conviction that could result in execution. Moving executions there inside prisons and away from public view was prompted by official recognition of the phenomenon reported first by Beccaria in Italy and later by Charles Dickens and Karl Marx of increased violent criminality at the times and places of executions.
This paper will fallow the process of a capital trial from arrest to execution. It will discus the aspects of federal and state law, trial, appeal, and executions. It will go into further detail on arraignment and the trail details of defense and sentencing. The federal law on capital punishment begins with the constitution, which states in the eighth amendment of the bill of rights that, no ...
Saint Nicholas of Myra seizes the executioner’s sword in order to save at the last moment three wrongly-condemned prisoners (oil painting by Ilya Repin, 1888, State Russian Museum).The 20th century was one of the bloodiest of the human history. Massive killing occurred as the resolution of war between nation-states. A large part of execution was summary execution of enemy combatants. Also, modern military organisations employed capital punishment as a means of maintaining military discipline. The Soviets, for example, executed 158,000 soldiers for desertion during World War II. In the past, cowardice, absence without leave, desertion, insubordination, looting, shirking under enemy fire and disobeying orders were often crimes punishable by death (see decimation and running the gauntlet).
One method of execution since firearms came into common use has almost invariably been firing squad. Moreover, various authoritarian states—for example those with fascist or communist governments—employed the death penalty as a potent means of political oppression. Partly as a response to such excessive punishment, civil organisations have started to place increasing emphasis on the concept of human rights and abolition of the death penalty.