Capital Punishment In The American Colonies

998 words - 4 pages

American colonies were introduced to the practice of capital punishment, through European colonization. The offenses punishable by the death penalty in each colony varied from stealing, to denying the existence of God. Ceasre Beccaria’s 1776 essay, titled On Crimes and Punishment acted as the chief catalyst behind the abolition movement against the death penalty. In his essay, Beccaria asserted that the death penalty deprives men of life, true deterrence resulted from imprisoning criminals and using this as an example to show the value of freedom and laws, and that the death penalty be used only in cases of treason. Beccaris’s rationalism induced Thomas Jefferson to attempt the first reform effort in the United States of America. Jefferson proposed a bill to Virginia under which capital punishment was only applicable to murder and treason. Although the bill was defeated by a single vote, Jefferson’s hope for reform still persists through modern day reformists. Currently, the debate over capital punishment rages on with fervor on both ends. Those in favor of capital punishment find it necessary in deterring future murders, the right way of punishing murders, bringing closure to victims, and for making society feel safer. Although their argument seems sound, after scrutiny it can be asserted that it is in fact irrational. The death penalty is an improper way of punishing criminal as it is barbaric, immoral in taking life, and flawed.
Although the flaws of death penalty are lucid, they are often times over looked by society. Innocuous people have been ruled to death based upon mistaken eyewitness testimonies, mistaken identity, and false confessions through coercion. Former Governor of Illinois George Ryan was a staunch proponent of the death penalty for 23 years. By analyzing this time period, Ryan learned about the 13 exonerations of people sentenced to death row. In learning the flaws of capital punishment, Ryan switched his side on capital punishment. Furthermore, in 2003, Ryan shed light to these flaws by pardoning 4 people who were tortured by the police and forced into confessions of crimes they did not enact. The cracks in the death penalty have become coherent enough, that Day O’ Connor of the Supreme Court has even admitted that “the system may well be allowing some innocent defendants to be executed” (Bedau and Cassell 154). Connor’s point was exemplified in the case of Leonel Torres Herrera. Torres was convicted of murdering two Texas police officers and sentenced to death. However, prior to him being executed, a lawyer came forward with Herrera’s brothers, Raul’s affidavit which claimed it was Raul who committed murder. Despite the overwhelming evidence, the Supreme Court refused a retrial and prior to being executed Herrera emphasized his innocence and the flaws of the death penalty in saying” Something very wrong is taking place here today […] I am innocent, innocent, innocent…” (Cannon 51).
Instead of acting as a deterring...

Find Another Essay On Capital Punishment in the American Colonies

Capital Punishment in the U.S Essay

828 words - 4 pages Today in the United States some would agree that society is overwhelmed with high crime rates and overcrowded prison systems that are full of repeat offenders. The idea of capital punishment could be the solution to some of those problems. Over the years capital punishment has been discussed among political figures in the United States but there has been no clear and permanent decision. Capital punishment here in the United States is a

Capital Punishment in The US Essay

678 words - 3 pages The Debate over the merits of capital punishment has enduredfor years, and continues to be an extremely indecisive andcomplicated issue. Adversaries of capital punishment point to theMarshalls and the Millgards, while proponents point to the Dahmersand Gacys. Society must be kept safe from the monstrous barbaricacts of these individuals and other killers, by taking away theirlives to function and perform in our society. At the same time, wemust

Capital Punishment in the U.S

2409 words - 10 pages This essay is about Capital Punishment and why it should be abolished and why it is brutal and barbaricReport - Capital Punishment in the U.S.At one time in the United States, when there was widespread community participation in executions, people closed their stores and schools, and watched a condemned person being paraded to the gallows. Concession booths were set up, and often politicians took advantage of the mass of people and got a little

Capital Punishment in the U.S

2409 words - 10 pages This essay is about Capital Punishment and why it should be abolished and why it is brutal and barbaricReport - Capital Punishment in the U.S.At one time in the United States, when there was widespread community participation in executions, people closed their stores and schools, and watched a condemned person being paraded to the gallows. Concession booths were set up, and often politicians took advantage of the mass of people and got a little

Salutory Neglect in the American Colonies

931 words - 4 pages try and achieve this goal, British parliament enacted the Navigation Acts in their American colonies. The four acts were: only English or English colonial ships could carry cargo between imperial ports, certain good, including tobacco, rice, and furs, could not be shipped to foreign nations except through England or Scotland, the English Parliament would pay “bounties” to Americans who produced certain raw goods, while raising protectionist

Honey Bees in the American Colonies

1086 words - 5 pages tradition that it was brought from Europe; but when, and by whom, we know not. The bees have generally extended themselves into the country, a little in advance of the white settlers. The Indians, therefore, call them the white man’s fly, and consider their approach as indicating the approach of the settlements of the whites.” Records show that colonies of honey bees were shipped from England and landed in the Colony of Virginia in early 1622.2 From

The Need for Capital Punishment in America

1152 words - 5 pages It is the firm belief and position here that committing such a crime as murder is punishable by death. Americans should take a position for anyone on death row, to be executed sooner rather than later. The moral reality in an argument for capital punishment is that they know the difference between the death penalty and what happens when it is actually put into place from the court of law. In the United States there are more people sitting in

Capital Punishment In The United States

1600 words - 6 pages Capital Punishment in the United States Executive Summary Capital punishment has been around for many years as a way of executing criminals. Despite what most believe, capital punishment is not functional in the American society. Defenders of the death penalty often claim that the execution of criminals will teach others not to do bad, initially decreasing crime rates. Unfortunately, statistics prove that thought to be wrong. Capital

The Abolition of Capital Punishment in Australia

1218 words - 5 pages Since the last execution in Australia in 1967 of Ronald Ryan and the abolition of capital punishment in Australia in 1973 imprisonment has been the only option as a sanction for murder. A survey conducted in 2009 demonstrated that a clear majority of Australians (64%) believed that imprisonment should be the punishment for murder as opposed to 23% stating the death penalty should be used and 13% did not wish to comment. The death penalty is not

The Abolishment Of Capital Punishment In Australia

507 words - 2 pages Capital Punishment is punishment of a crime by death. The death penalty was abolished in Queensland in 1922, New South Wales in 1955, Tasmania in 1968, Victoria in 1975, South Australia in 1976 and Western Australia in 1984. Since that time debate has raged as whether or not capital punishment should be re-introduced. This essay examines the case for and the case against the use of capital punishment.One of the main reasons against capital

Capital Punishment in the United States

1841 words - 7 pages Capitol punishment Capital Punishment The Argument Against the Death Penalty The feeling of the condemned man was indescribable, as he was minutes away from being executed by an unjust decision. The verdict of his case was guilty on the grounds of circumstantial evidence. When in all reality, he was guilty because he was black, poor and socially unacceptable. His case never stood a chance, it was over before it started. The judge and jury

Similar Essays

Should Capital Punishment Still Be Used In The American System

1511 words - 6 pages of lethal injection” (ProCon.org "Death Penalty ProCon.org"). Many people are arguing whether or not capital punishment is effective and should still be used in the American system. Proponents of the death penalty argue that the death penalty deters crime. In contrast, opponents of the death penalty argue that the death penalty is cruel and goes against the “cruel and punishment” clause in the 8th Amendment of the Constitution. This is an

Slavery In The American Colonies Essay

888 words - 4 pages 1. In the American colonies, Virginians switched from indentured servants to slaves for their labor needs for many reasons. A major reason was the shift in the relative supply of indentured servants and slaves. While the colonial demand for labor was increasing, a sharp decrease occurred in the number of English migrants arriving in America under indenture. Slaves were permanent property and female slaves passed their status on to their children

Culture In The American Colonies Essay

786 words - 3 pages Europe, especially England, and America. These conversions occurred in waves of religious enthusiasm and revivalism. Though found to some degree throughout much of the western world, the greatest concentrations appeared in England's American colonies.A series of revivals swept the mainland colonies between 1725 and 1750 and came to be known as the "Great Awakening." In the eighteenth century, the colonies were still overwhelmingly white, Anglo

Capital Punishment In The Usa Essay

911 words - 4 pages the American scene today, I also see something much darker: what author Eric Schlosser, writing in Atlantic Monthly, termed a "culture of murder".Overall, I believe that capital punishment should protect the innocent and serve justice. However, experience raises serious questions about whether it does either of these things. While some evidence suggests it may decrease the number of murders, we have plenty of other evidence that it does exactly