Death Penalty: Historical Facts You Need To Know

The death penalty is the deprivation of life of a person found guilty of a crime based on a decision of state authority. For the most part, the death penalty is a form of punishment for a person for a relevant crime. Such a procedure requires a lengthy legal process, the ability to appeal the decision, designated professionals to carry out the punishment, and a clearly defined execution date. While a person is waiting for it, he is on “death row.”

For What Crimes Is A Person Sentenced To Death

Certain types of crimes for which the death penalty is imposed vary according to the laws of each country. However, they all have a similar list of acts for which the highest degree of punishment is provided. Crimes punishable by death in different countries:

  •     murder;
  •     massacre;
  •     severe cases of rape (often involving children);
  •     sexual violence;
  •     terrorism;
  •     hijacking of planes;
  •     war crimes;
  •     crimes against humanity and genocide;
  •     crimes against the state, such as the attempted overthrow of the government, treason, espionage;
  •     aggravated robbery;
  •     kidnapping;
  •     drug trafficking and drug possession.

Pros And Cons Of Executions

As usual, the death penalty can be argued from different sides. Therefore, some advantages can be cited. But still, there are more disadvantages. Thus, the arguments that are usually accepted in support of the death penalty are:

  •     to serve as an example to other potential criminals to deter them from committing murder or acts of terrorism;
  •     punish the criminal for his actions;
  •     get retribution on behalf of the victims.

The generally accepted arguments for the abolition of the death penalty are:

  •     death is “cruel and unusual punishment” prohibited by the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution. Furthermore, the various means used by the state to kill criminals are cruel;
  •     the death penalty is used disproportionately against the poor, who cannot afford expensive legal counsel, and against racial, ethnic, and religious minorities;
  •     the death penalty is applied arbitrarily and inconsistently;
  •     innocents, convicted innocents, sentenced to death, and tragically killed by the state;
  •     a rehabilitated criminal can make a morally significant contribution to society;
  •     taking a human life is morally wrong under all circumstances. Some faith groups (the Roman Catholic Church) oppose the death penalty because it is not “life.”

This question is ambiguous, so it is considered in almost every school, college and university. Teachers talk about capital punishment and the death penalty facts. Sometimes students are tasked with writing an essay about the death penalty. Not everyone has adequate writing skills, but nowadays, this is not a problem. Anyone can find paper samples about the death penalty pros and cons and write a meaningful essay. In this way, students develop writing skills and learn interesting information.

What Is The Mechanism For Sentencing A Person To The Death Penalty?

Currently, not enough information is known about the mechanism of applying the death penalty in the totalitarian regimes of our time, as well as about the victims of such types of punishments. But if we talk about democratic countries, we can say that a long process precedes the death penalty at different levels of the judicial system. In addition, the accused has the opportunity to appeal before the sentence becomes imminent. Quite often, considerable time passes between a death sentence and its execution, given possible appeals and other legal processes.

Requirements Of Executions

Only a qualified specialist acting as a representative of the state has the right to carry out the execution. The time of the execution must be determined clearly to the minute. If these conditions are not met, the verdict is unlawful, and all involved must bear legal responsibility. The death penalty is mainly carried out privately, and law enforcement agencies must clearly define who can be present at the execution. However, in countries with the option of capital punishment in their legislation, execution is often replaced by life imprisonment. In addition, a person sentenced to death may receive a pardon from a higher official, for example, the president, head of government, or monarch. What are the methods of execution:

  •     hanging;
  •     execution;
  •     lethal injection;
  •     beheading;
  •     stoning;
  •     electric shock and gas inhalation;
  •     suffocation with inert gas.

The Story Of Lonnie David Franklin

Carrying out the execution is not so easy. For example, Lonnie David Franklin, a former American scavenger from Los Angeles, raped and killed ten women and a 15-year-old girl from 1985 to 2007. He was arrested only in 2010 and found guilty only in 2016. Then he was sentenced to death and awaited the method of execution of the sentence in San Quentin prison. He was found dead on March 28, 2020, in his cell. It was not the first death penalty in history, but this story is known.

Which Countries Execute The Most?

Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Pakistan kill the most in all countries where execution is allowed. Each of these countries annually kills between a hundred and 500 people. Primarily, public executions are used there for drugs, non-traditional sexual orientation, or wrong life views. Self-judgment, for which no one bears responsibility, is not uncommon. China can be added to the same list. But the government there does not publish data on the number of executed. According to unofficial data, 2,000 to 3,000 people are executed annually in China. And before executing violators, they are driven around the city squares in cars. But the murder procedure itself is carried out behind closed doors.


No matter what crime a person faces, he always wants the culprit to suffer the severest punishment for his crimes. But what should it look like? Everyone seeks justice in their way, and if a life sentence for a criminal is enough for some, then someone will demand the execution. However, there are cases when such a measure of punishment completely contradicts all human rights and international laws. Therefore, the death penalty law should be banned everywhere. Even though there are many interesting historical facts about the death penalty, it is still not humane.