Death sentence is also referred to as Capital Punishment, is the judicially ordered execution of a prisoner as a punishment for a serious crime, often called a capital offense or a capital crime. Some jurisdictions that practice capital punishment restrict its use to a small number of criminal offenses, principally treason and murder. Prisoners who have been sentenced to death are usually kept segregated from other prisoners in a special part of the prison pending their execution. (See Capital Punishment.

Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia)Digging up the history of Death Penalty or Death Sentence, the first established death penalty laws date as far back as the Eighteenth Century B. C. in the Code of King Hammaurabi of Babylon, which codified the death penalty for 25 different crimes. The death penalty was also part of the Fourteenth Century B.

C. 's Hittite Code; in the Seventh Century B. C. 's Draconian Code of Athens, which made death the only punishment for all crimes; and in the Fifth Century B.

C. 's Roman Law of the Twelve Tablets. Death sentences were carried out by such means as crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burning alive, and impalement.In the Tenth Century A. D. , hanging became the usual method of execution in Britain.

In the following century, William the Conqueror would not allow persons to be hanged or otherwise executed for any crime, except in times of war. This trend would not last, for in the Sixteenth Century, under the reign of Henry VIII, as many as 72,000 people are estimated to have been executed. Some common methods of execution at that time were boiling, burning at the stake, hanging, beheading, and drawing and quartering. Executions were carried out for such capital offenses as marrying a Jew, not confessing to a crime, and treason.The number of capital crimes in Britain continued to rise throughout the next two centuries.

By the 1700s, 222 crimes were punishable by death in Britain, including stealing, cutting down a tree, and robbing a rabbit warren. Because of the severity of the death penalty, many juries would not convict defendants if the offense was not serious. This lead to reforms of Britain's death penalty. From 1823 to 1837, the death penalty was eliminated for over 100 of the 222 crimes punishable by death.

(See Death Penalty Information Center)In most places that practice capital punishment today, the death penalty is reserved as a punishment for premeditated murder, espionage, treason, or as part of military justice. In some countries with a Muslim majority, sexual crimes, including adultery and sodomy, carry the death penalty, as do religious crimes such as apostasy from Islam, the formal renunciation of one's religion. (See the Paradoxes of a Death Penalty Stance) In many retentionist countries countries that use the death penalty, drug trafficking is also a capital offense. In China human trafficking and serious cases of corruption are also 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. (See Punishment and the Death Penalty).

Capital punishment is a contentious issue. Supporters of capital punishment argue that it deters crime, prevents recidivism, and is an appropriate punishment for the crime of murder. Opponents of capital punishment argue that it does not deter criminals more than life imprisonment, violates human rights, leads to executions of some who are wrongfully convicted, and discriminates against minorities and the poor.It is used today and was used in ancient times to punish a variety of offenses. Even the bible advocates death for murder and other crimes like kidnapping and witchcraft. When the word death penalty is used, it makes yelling and screaming from both sides of extremist.

One side may say deterrence, while the other side may say, but you may execute an innocent man. Today, one of the most debated issues in the Criminal Justice System is the issue of capital punishment or the death penalty.Capital punishment was legal until 1972, when the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in Furman V. Georgia stating that it violated the Eight and Fourteen Amendments citing cruel and unusual punishment. However, in 1976, the Supreme Court reversed itself with Gregg V.

Georgia and reinstated the death penalty but not all states have the death penalty. Thirteen states do not have the death penalty: Alaska, District of Colombia, Hawaii, Iowa, Main, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.Support for the death penalty varies widely. Both in abolitionist and retentionist democracies, the government's stance often has wide public support and receives little attention by politicians or the media.

In some abolitionist countries, the majority of the public supports or has supported the death penalty. Abolition was often adopted due to political change, such as when countries shifted from authoritarianism to democracy, or when it became an entry condition for the European Union.The United States is a notable exception: some states have had bans on capital punishment for decades the earliest is Michigan, where it was abolished in 1846, while others actively use it today. The death penalty there remains a contentious issue which is hotly debated. Elsewhere, however, it is rare for the death penalty to be abolished due to an active public discussion of its merits. In abolitionist countries, debate is sometimes revived by particularly brutal murders, though few countries have brought it back after abolition.

However a spike in serious, violent crimes, such as murders or terrorist attacks, have prompted some countries such as Sri Lanka and Jamaica to effectively end the moratorium on the death penalty. In retentionist countries, the debate is sometimes revived when miscarriage of justice occurs, though this tends to cause legislative efforts to improve the judicial process rather than to abolish the death penalty. A Gallup International poll from 2000 found that Worldwide support was expressed in favour of the death penalty, with just more than half (52%) indicating that they were in favour of this form of punishment.A break down of the numbers of support versus opposition: Worldwide 52%/39%, North America 66%/27%, Asia 63%/21%, Central and Eastern Europe 60%/29%, Africa 54%/43%, Latin America 37%/55%, Western Europe 34%/60%. In the U. S.

, surveys have long shown a majority in favor of capital punishment. An ABC News survey in July 2006 found 65 percent in favor of capital punishment, consistent with other polling since 2000. About half the American public says the death penalty isn't imposed frequently enough and 60 percent believe it is applied fairly, according to a Gallup poll in May 2006.Yet surveys also show the public is more divided when asked to choose between the death penalty and life without parole, or when dealing with juvenile offenders. Roughly six in 10 tell Gallup they don't believe capital punishment deters murder and majorities believe at least one innocent person has been executed in the past five years. ( See The Ultimate Punishment : a Defense) Statistics show that the death penalty neither lowers nor raises the incidence of violent crimes.

Many individuals will tell you why they are in favor of the death penalty.It is what they deserve. It prevents them from ever murdering again. It removes the burden from taxpayers. We all live in a society with the same basic rights and guarantees.

We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with equal opportunities. This is the basis for our society. It is the foundation on which everything else is built upon. When someone willfully and flagrantly attacks this foundation by murdering another, robbing them of all they are, and all they will ever be, then that person can no longer be a part of this society.

The only method that completely separates cold blooded murderers from our society is the death penalty. As the 20th century comes to a close, it is evident that our justice system is in need of reform. This reform will shape the future of our country, and we can not jump to quick solutions such as the elimination of the deathpenalty. As of now, the majority of individuals support the death penalty as an effective solution of punishment. Until this opinion becomes the minority, people will continue to use this approach, and will continue to support the death penalty.

( See Death Penalty Focus)