Essay on The Death Penalty Is The Right Thing

1913 Words Nov 10th, 2015 8 Pages
The death penalty is a controversial topic throughout the United States. When convicted of a capital crime, a criminal has a chance to be sentenced to death if the crime was committed in one of the 31 states that offer this lethal sentence (States With and Without the Death Penalty, 2015). While most people argue that the death penalty is the right thing to do if someone commits such a heinous crime, or that without it it would cost much more to house these criminals for life, I disagree. Though intended to punish people, the death penalty may be doing more harm than good. With the first execution performed in 1608, the death penalty was brought to America by the Europeans. Most of the colonies had their own laws for what was punishable by death, and some were extreme. These obscure acts left abolitionists in awe, but it wasn’t until 1767 when the essay On Crimes and Punishment by Cesare Beccaria was published that many began to act on these doubts (Part 1: History of the Death Penalty, n.d.). Interestingly enough, Thomas Jefferson was the first American to do something about these unjust sentencings by designing a bill to edit Virginia’s execution rules, which was actually shot down by a vote. A notably successful doctor who did in fact get the government to change these laws was Dr. Benjamin Rush, who was backed by the nationwide recognized Benjamin Franklin. He persuaded Pennsylvania to change their laws to have the death penalty only tied with first-degree murder (Part…

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