My past blog posts on this issue have discussed the wrongly accused, the wrongly killed, and the accused, but I have not focused much on the death penalty itself. The death penalty has been around for centuries and was often the punishment for the most innocent of crimes. Whether you were caught stealing food or cheating on your spouse, the death penalty was the punishment. If you are interested in hearing the story/ stories behind the death penalty then read below or follow the links listed at the bottom of this post.
The history of the death penalty or Capital Punishment dates back to the Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon in Eighteenth Century B.C. During these times, all crimes could be punished with death and the punishment usually were carried out by such means as crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burning alive, and impalement. Tenth Century Britain adopted the hanging method before it was outlawed for a very short period of time. Post-hanging methods of execution involved boiling, burning at the stake, hanging, beheading, and drawing and quartering. This punishment could be sentenced for any crime. The death penalty fluctuated throughout societies during these times as the killings evolved to more humane acts of violence for punishment or downright barbarian acts of violence. Glad you live in 2018?
**If you follow the link below, you can read further on the evolution of the death penalty.**
It was not until the 1960s that the death penalty began being questioned within the United States. Many individuals viewed the death penalty, otherwise known as Capital Punishment, as “cruel and unusual” punishment, and I cannot say that I disagree. While some states in the United States believe that fighting violence with violence is the answer, many individuals can agree that it is simply inhumane when we have so many other means of punishment to administer. The law has been worked around to avoid penalizing juveniles, pregnant women (and even just women), and the elderly. Although there were many quarrels when the topic arose in the 1960s, the Supreme Court ultimately favored the death penalty and did not allow much leeway for the innocent or wrongly accused. Many individuals tried to argue the Supreme Court, as Crampton did in the Crampton v. Ohio Case, stating that it was not fair of them to serve the guilt and sentence at the same time. It was ruled that one’s guilt and sentence could be served in one single proceeding which made it all the more difficult for protesters to advance forward. This meaning that if an individual is found guilty, their death sentence would be served at the same time giving them no time to absorb the verdict that the jury has given them.
According to the article, over 115 individuals have been released from death row sentencing on behalf of their innocence since 1973. The “fail safe” in our justice system, known as the clemency process, allows inmates on death row to appeal their decision. If granted, that individual would no longer sit on death row and would be open to a new punishment.
Fortunately, the death penalty is declining in popularity and is illegal in the majority of states.
Now, I want to hear your thoughts.
What is your opinion on the death penalty?
Do you believe guilt and the death penalty should be served in one proceeding?