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The death penalty has often been recognized as a reprimand for gross crimes. In the historic records, the first death sentence was carried out in Egypt in the 16th century BC. The offender, who was a member of the aristocracy, was ordered to kill himself when he was accused of magic. The death sentence was different for the nobles, freemen, and slaves for different offenses and was, most of the time, very brutal. It included such acts as burying alive, crucifying, drowning, beating to death, impalement, stoning, hanging and beheading. But 300 years after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Emperor Constantine abolished cruel death penalties in the Roman Empire after he converted to Christianity (Herrmann, 2008). More than 80 crimes were made punishable by death by the Code of Theodosius in the year 438. The colony that has a long history of use of the death penalty is Britain. During the supremacy of Henry VIII, the number of those executed is approximated to be 72, 000. However, many capital punishments were abolished in the 19th and 20th centuries throughout the European states (Herrmann, 2008).
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There is a debate whether the death penalty should be allowed or not. The proponents suggest that it is very essential to use the death penalty as a way of preserving law and order. They also add that it is cheaper than life imprisonment. In addition, they argue that the death penalty ensures that the crime never happens again (Hensley, Hale, & Snook, 2006).
The opponents reject the use of the death penalty by arguing that it gives the government the power to take lives. To them, the death penalty has no preventive effect on crimes. They further observe that the death penalty is a way of promoting racism and classism (Hensley, 2006). For instance, in the case of Montejo v. Louisiana, 556 U.S. 07-1529 (2009), the Supreme Court of America ruled that the defendant had the right to counsel for police interrogation regardless of the situation (Bohn, 2011).
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