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Capital Punishment

Capital punishment has existed all throughout the history of mankind and has existed long before the creation of court systems.As civilizations progressed, they incorporated capital punishment into their legal codes.One of thefirst examples of the establishment of capital punishment into the justice system was Hammurabi's Code.Hammurabi was king of Babylonia around 1750 BC.He came up with the idea of an "eye for an eye".Passages from the Bible further encouraged the practice of capital punishment.The English penal code used the Bible as a reference for every crime that they deemed punishable by death.In England fifty-five crimes were punishable by death and the English legal code was nicknamed "the bloody code".England annually executed between seven hundred and eight hundred criminals in the beginning of the 18th century.The English legal code for capital punishment was used as the source for the legal system in the United States.Most of the laws and court structures in the United States are based on the old English system.
As capital punishment became integrated into the legal system of most countries, the execution and brutality of the death penalty created a great deal of opposition.One of thefirst and most prominent opponents of the death penalty was Cesare Beccarie.Many of Beccarie's beliefs about the death penalty are still used today as reasons for abolishing capital punishment.Beccarie was very influential and started a wave of opposition to the death penalty and his ideas on this subject had a profound impact on many people, one in particular was Benjamin Rush.
Benjamin Rush is credited as being the father of the modern anti-capital punishment movement in the United States.As one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, his criticism of capital punishment caused much restructuring of the death penalty.In 1794, Pennsylvania had reduced the number o…

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