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the sacco and vanzetti case Capital Punishment in America  Argumentative Persuasive Essays


Capital Punishment in America

 

       The concept of "a life for a life" is "as old as civilization itself"

(McCiellan 9).  Capital punishment, the legal taking of the life of a criminal,

has been utilized in response to three distinct catagories of offense. The three

categories are: crimes against the person; crimes against property;

and crimes which endanger the security of the nation (Horwitz 13).

Capital punishment is still in use in the United States today, but has been

abolished by many countries (II 536). The countries that still have the death

penalty on their books, rarely employ it .

 

        The earliest writings on the subject dates as far back as 2000 B. C.,

but it is clear that capital punishment more or less has existed since the birth

of mankind (Szumski 25). Throughout history, it has been exercised in almost all

civilizations as a retribution for severe crimes, but sometimes also for the

thrill and excitement. The Romans put slaves and prisoners in the Coliseum as

lion food while spectators enjoyed the sight (Horwitz 13).

 

        In the early colonial states, the death penalty was applied for a vast

number of crimes, just like in England, the ruler of the states in this era (II

536).  In England, in the 18th century, there were approximately 220 offenses

punishable by death.  Some of them would today be considered as misdemeanors

and petty crimes (i. e. shooting of a rabbit, the theft of a pocket handkerchief,

and to cut down a cherry tree) (Horwitz 13). The majority of these were crimes

dealing with property. However, transportation became  an alternative to

execution in the 17th century. A lot of these criminals were shipped to the U.S.

(28).

 

        In the early days of our Constitution, the only segments that showed

that the death penalty existed were two amendments in the Bill of Rights (Landau

11). These amendments deal with protection and rights of the accused. The fifth

amendment prohibits the state from depriving an individual of life without due

process of law. The eight amendment prohibits "cruel and unusual" punishment.

The Supreme Court has still not determined what this phrase means. In one case

in the 1890s, the question was if capital punishment violated the eight

amendment. The court relied on the matter that "a definition of cruel and

unusual punishment must reflect the evolving standards of decency that mark the

progress of a maturing society" (14). Surveys from this era show that a

majority of the people favored the death penalty.

 

        In the Middle Ages, capital punishment was also applied to animals

(Horwitz 24).  An animal, guilty of having killed a human being, would be

executed, sometimes after a trial with a lawyer representing the animal. In one

case, in Dijon, France, a horse kicked his master to death. In court, a witness

testified that the man had provoked the horse. In spite of this, the creature

was sentenced to death. Trials with animals was considered to be absolutely fair.

 

 

        "Enlightment thinkers", or social reformers, such as Montesquieu,

Voltaire, and Caesar Beccaria fought to bring an end to the use of capital

punishment (II 536). The Caesar Beccaria, an Italian criminologist in the 1700s,

influenced society and "stimulated penal reform" to abolish the practice of this

irrevocable penalty (Szumski 22). As an alternative, he recommends retribution,

that is making up for losses. In his essay An Essay On Crimes and Punishments,

approved by philosopher Voltaire, he admits that capital punishment is justified

in only one case; Beccaria argues that "when [a criminal], though deprived of

liberty, he has such power and connections as may endanger the security of the

nation", he should be executed (Szumski 24). This relates to justify capital

punishment in cases of spying, which still is a controversial  issue today.

        Religious opposers argue that the death penalty "contradicts the

teachings of love and mercy" (Szumski 86). At the same time a religious

supporter, Haven Bradford Gow, claims that the Bible justifies "an eye for an

eye and a tooth for a tooth" as stated in the Catholic Bible in the Fifth

commandment:

 

        "Another kind of slaying belongs to the civil authorities to whom is

entrusted the power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of

which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent" (Bradford).

 

The Bible is constantly used as a defense for capital punishment and many

references can be found to such a penalty.  Another religious supporter judge

that "religious teachings prove that ... more

the sacco and vanzetti case

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Capital Punishment



Capital Punishment


    Law&Justice Class Senior Year
    Mr. Carlisle
    Law and Justice
    18 March 1995

The theory "a life for a life" is "as old as civilization itself"
(McCiellan 9).  The development of civilizations established what we call
justice today.  Capital punishment, the execution of a criminal convicted of a
crime, or the legal taking of the life of a criminal, can be divided into three
categories: first, crimes against the person; second, crimes against property;
and third, crimes which endanger the security of the nation (Horwitz 13).
Capital punishment is still in use in the United States today, but has been
abolished by many countries (II 536). The countries that still have the death
penalty on their books, rarely employ it .

The earliest writings on the subject dates as far back as 2000 B. C.,
but it is clear that capital punishment more or less has existed since the birth
of mankind (Szumski 25). Throughout history, it has been exercised in almost all
civilizations as a retribution for severe crimes, but sometimes also for the
thrill and excitement. The Romans put slaves and prisoners in the Coliseum as
lion food while spectators enjoyed the sight (Horwitz 13).

In the early colonial states, the death penalty was applied for a vast
number of crimes, just like in England, the ruler of the states in this era (II
536).  In England, in the 18th century, there were approximately 220 offenses
punishable by death.  Some of them would today be considered as misdemeanors
and petty crimes (i. e. shooting of a rabbit, the theft of a pocket handkerchief,
and to cut down a cherry tree) (Horwitz 13). The majority of these were crimes
dealing with property. However, transportation became  an alternative to
execution in the 17th century. A lot of these criminals were shipped to the U.S.
(28).

In the early days of our Constitution, the only segments that showed
that the death penalty existed were two amendments in the Bill of Rights (Landau
11). These amendments deal with protection and rights of the accused. The fifth
amendment prohibits the state from depriving an individual of life without due
process of law. The eight amendment prohibits "cruel and unusual" punishment.
The Supreme Court has still not determined what this phrase means. In one case
in the 1890s, the question was if capital punishment violated the eight
amendment. The court relied on the matter that "a definition of cruel and
unusual punishment must reflect the evolving standards of decency that mark the
progress of a maturing society" (14). Surveys from this era show that a
majority of the people favored the death penalty.

In the Middle Ages, capital punishment was also applied to animals
(Horwitz 24).  An animal, guilty of having killed a human being, would be
executed, sometimes after a trial with a lawyer representing the animal. In one
case, in Dijon, France, a horse kicked his master to death. In court, a witness
testified that the man had provoked the horse. In spite of this, the creature
was sentenced to death. Trials with animals was considered to be absolutely fair.


"Enlightment thinkers", or social reformers, such as Montesquieu,
Voltaire, and Caesar Beccaria fought to bring an end to the use of capital
punishment (II 536). The Caesar Beccaria, an Italian criminologist in the 1700s,
influenced society and "stimulated penal reform" to abolish the practice of this
irrevocable penalty (Szumski 22). As an alternative, he recommends retribution,
that is making up for losses. In his essay An Essay On Crimes and Punishments,
approved by philosopher Voltaire, he admits that capital punishment is justified
in only one case; Beccaria argues that "when [a criminal], though deprived of
liberty, he has such power and connections as may endanger the security of the
nation", he should be executed (Szumski 24). This relates to justify capital
punishment in cases of spying, which still is a controversial  issue today.
Religious opposers argue that the death penalty "contradicts the
teachings of love and mercy" (Szumski 86). At the same time a religious
supporter, Haven Bradford Gow, claims that the Bible justifies "an eye for an
eye and a tooth for a tooth" as stated in the Catholic Bible in the Fifth
commandment:

"Another kind of slaying belongs to the civil authorities to whom is
entrusted the power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of
which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent" (Bradford).

The Bible is constantly used as a defense for capital punishment and many
references can be found to such a penalty. ... more

the sacco and vanzetti case

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  • T: Capital Punishment T: Capital Punishment Capital Punishment Capital Punishment Law&Justice Class Senior Year Mr. Carlisle Law and Justice 18 March 1995 The theory a life for a life is as old as civilization itself (McCiellan 9). The development of civilizations established what we call justice today. Capital punishment, the execution of a criminal convicted of a crime, or the legal taking of the life of a criminal, can be divided into three categories: first, crimes against the person; second, crimes against property; and third, cr...
  • H: Capital Punishment in America Argumentative Persua H: Capital Punishment in America Argumentative Persua Capital Punishment in America Argumentative Persuasive Essays Capital Punishment in America The concept of a life for a life is as old as civilization itself (McCiellan 9). Capital punishment, the legal taking of the life of a criminal, has been utilized in response to three distinct catagories of offense. The three categories are: crimes against the person; crimes against property; and crimes which endanger the security of the nation (Horwitz 13). Capital punishment is still in use in the U...
  • E: Capital Punishment E: Capital Punishment Capital Punishment Capital Punishment Law Justice Class Senior Year Mr. Carlisle Law and Justice 18 March 1995 The theory a life for a life is as old as civilization itself (McCiellan 9). The development of civilizations established what we call justice today. Capital punishment, the execution of a criminal convicted of a crime, or the legal taking of the life of a criminal, can be divided into three categories: first, crimes against the person; second, crimes against property; and third, crimes...
  •  : Sacco And Vanzetti : Sacco And Vanzetti Sacco And Vanzetti The case of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti was not about the justice system blaming them for murdering two people, but rather how the justice system murdered two people and got away with it. Throughout the trial the public withdrew from their anti-radical thinking to more of a sympathetic understanding of another human being, no matter their beliefs. World-wide interest was quickly turned to the ill-fated Sacco and Vanzetti. While the judge and prosecution had already de...
  • S: Wilsons Fourteen Points Speech and Information Ab S: Wilsons Fourteen Points Speech and Information Ab Wilson\'s Fourteen Points Speech and Information About the Sacco-Vanzet Fourteen Points was a name given to the proposals of President Woodrow Wilson designed to establish the basis for a just and lasting peace following the victory of the Allies in World War 1. The 14 proposals were contained in Wilsons address to a joint session of the US Congress on January 8, 1918. In summary, the 14 points were as follows : 1. abolition of secret diplomacy by open covenants 2. freedom of the seas in peace ...
  • A: How did World War One Change American Society? A: How did World War One Change American Society? How did World War One Change American Society? Introduction In 1917 America entered World War one. By doing this America played a grave role in conquering Germany and ushering peace to Europe. However, the Great War also meant that the US would change dramatically through historical issues and changes which resulted in American society. Industries had started to realise that it was not as simple as it was before to abstract the immigrants. As the country developed and became more successful it a...
  • C: Sacco & vanzetti C: Sacco & vanzetti sacco & vanzetti A few years ago I received a phone call from a woman in New York City who told me that she was planning to write a book about Sacco and Vanzetti. She wanted to know what sources there were about their lives and activities. I asked her if she read Italian: I was going to recommend La Cronaca Sovversiva and other Italian anarchist journals. She said, No, I don\'t t. In that case\' I said, I think you ought to abandon the project, unless you are prepared to learn the language...
  • C: Explaining The Twenties C: Explaining The Twenties Explaining The Twenties In 1920, for the first time, the United States census revealed that more Americans lived in cities than in rural areas. This fact speaks to a dramatic cultural shift that had taken place. The older ethnically homogenous white Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) culture, characterized by their traditional religion and farm life fell into decline. Overtaking its influence was a new, secular, urban mass culture rooted among diverse ethnic groups. It was a culture that provided mor...
  • O: Wilsons Fourteen Points Speech and Information Ab O: Wilsons Fourteen Points Speech and Information Ab Wilson's Fourteen Points Speech and Information About the Sacco-Vanzet Fourteen Points was a name given to the proposals of President Woodrow Wilson designed to establish the basis for a just and lasting peace following the victory of the Allies in World War 1. The 14 proposals were contained in Wilsons address to a joint session of the US Congress on January 8, 1918. In summary, the 14 points were as follows : 1. abolition of secret diplomacy by open covenants 2. freedom of the seas in peace...
  •  : Nicola Sacco : Nicola Sacco Nicola Sacco 70 years ago, on August 23rd, 1927, the State of Massachusetts executed immigrant anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, after an international campaign to stop their execution. This page is a tribute to their memory. Nicola Sacco was born in Italy and emigrated to the United States in 1908. With Bartolomeo Vanzetti he was arrested on charges of murdering a shoe factory paymaster and guard at South Braintree, Massachusetts. They were tried and convicted in an atmosphere o...
  • A: Sacco and vanzetti A: Sacco and vanzetti Sacco and vanzetti Were Sacco and Vanzetti convicted and eventually executed because of popular beliefs about anarchy? The majority of the evidence on Sacco and Vanzetti points to the fact that they did not receive a fair trial, but why is that? Many people of the time feel that can be attributed to the fact that both of the men were Italian immigrants. While this may have aided the feeling of hated that was already preeminent at the trial. It was not however the main reason that the two men wer...
  • N: Explaining the twenties N: Explaining the twenties Explaining the twenties In 1920, for the first time, the United States census revealed that more Americans lived in cities than in rural areas. This fact speaks to a dramatic cultural shift that had taken place. The older ethnically homogenous white Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) culture, characterized by their traditional religion and farm life fell into decline. Overtaking its influence was a new, secular, urban mass culture rooted among diverse ethnic groups. It was a culture that provided mor...
  • D: Racial Discrimination In America During The 1920s D: Racial Discrimination In America During The 1920s Racial Discrimination In America During The 1920s Racial Discrimination in America during the 1920's The motto of the United States of America is E Pluribus Unum meaning Out of one, many. It neatly recognises that although America may be a single nation, it is also one originally made up of immigrants who arrived not only from Europe and Asia, but forcibly as slaves from Africa and of Native Americans. Its population is the most racially and culturally diverse in the world and for that ...
  •  : Sacco and vanzetti trials : Sacco and vanzetti trials sacco and vanzetti trials SACCO VANZETTI The Sacco and Vanzetti Case was an extremely controversial murder trial held in Massachusetts from 1921-1927. The two defendants were Nicola Sacco who was a shoemaker, and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, a self-employed fish-peddler. While both men did want to earn a living, neither of them seem to have been overly preoccupied with achieving wealth. They were generous, and just wanted, as Vanzetti said, a little land to grow, a roof, some books. Neither of the men h...
  • V: Sacco And Vanzetti V: Sacco And Vanzetti Sacco And Vanzetti The case of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti was not about the justice system blaming them for murdering two people, but rather how the justice system murdered two people and got away with it. Throughout the trial the public withdrew from their anti-radical thinking to more of a sympathetic understanding of another human being, no matter their beliefs. World-wide interest was quickly turned to the ill-fated Sacco and Vanzetti. While the judge and prosecution had already de...
  • A: Sacco and vanzetti A: Sacco and vanzetti sacco and vanzetti The Sacco and Vanzetti Case was an extremely controversial murder trial held in Massachusetts from 1921-1927. The two defendants were Nicola Sacco who was a shoemaker, and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, a self-employed fish-peddler. While both men did want to earn a living, neither of them seem to have been overly preoccupied with achieving wealth. They were generous, and just wanted, as Vanzetti said, a little land to grow, a roof, some books. Neither of the men had any kind of prior...
  • N: Sacco and vanzetti trials N: Sacco and vanzetti trials sacco and vanzetti trials SACCO & VANZETTI The Sacco and Vanzetti Case was an extremely controversial murder trial held in Massachusetts from 1921-1927. The two defendants were Nicola Sacco who was a shoemaker, and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, a self-employed fish-peddler. While both men did want to earn a living, neither of them seem to have been overly preoccupied with achieving wealth. They were generous, and just wanted, as Vanzetti said, a little land to grow, a roof, some books. Neither of the m...
  • Z: Sacco And Vanzetti Z: Sacco And Vanzetti Sacco And Vanzetti The Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which was ratified in1868, granted freedom to all United States citizens; even those who were naturalized (immigrants). Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subjects to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; ...
  • E: Capital Punishment E: Capital Punishment Capital Punishment Law&Justice Class Senior Year Mr. Carlisle Law and Justice 18 March 1995 The theory a life for a life is as old as civilization itself (McCiellan 9). The development of civilizations established what we call justice today. Capital punishment, the execution of a criminal convicted of a crime, or the legal taking of the life of a criminal, can be divided into three categories: first, crimes against the person; second, crimes against property; and third, crimes which endanger...
  • T: Capital Punishment in America T: Capital Punishment in America Capital Punishment in America The concept of a life for a life is as old as civilization itself (McCiellan 9). Capital punishment, the legal taking of the life of a criminal, has been utilized in response to three distinct catagories of offense. The three categories are: crimes against the person; crimes against property; and crimes which endanger the security of the nation (Horwitz 13). Capital punishment is still in use in the United States today, but has been abolished by many countries (II 5...
  • T: The 1920s T: The 1920s The 1920s The Roaring 20\'s the post war changes were economic first, because the factories had to change again there was not a demand for war goods and returning vets faced unemployment. Now those who had jobs like women and African Americans lost their jobs. In Russia, the Russian revolution had started and the red scare began also. The change after war was a very social thing. The start of communism had come about. This idea of communism gave hope to the weary Russians. The red scare was the ...
  • I: Explaining the twenties I: Explaining the twenties Explaining the twenties In 1920, for the first time, the United States census revealed that more Americans lived in cities than in rural areas. This fact speaks to a dramatic cultural shift that had taken place. The older ethnically homogenous white Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) culture, characterized by their traditional religion and farm life fell into decline. Overtaking its influence was a new, secular, urban mass culture rooted among diverse ethnic groups. It was a culture that provided mor...
  •  : 70 years ago, on August 23rd, 1927, : 70 years ago, on August 23rd, 1927, 70 years ago, on August 23rd, 1927, the State of Massachusetts executed immigrant anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, after an international campaign to stop their execution. This page is a tribute to their memory. Nicola Sacco was born in Italy and emigrated to the United States in 1908. With Bartolomeo Vanzetti he was arrested on charges of murdering a shoe factory paymaster and guard at South Braintree, Massachusetts. They were tried and convicted in an atmosphere of antiradical...
  • C: Sacco And Vanzetti C: Sacco And Vanzetti Sacco And Vanzetti The Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which was ratified in1868, granted freedom to all United States citizens; even those who were naturalized (immigrants). Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subjects to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; ...
  • A: How did World War One Change American Society? A: How did World War One Change American Society? How did World War One Change American Society? Introduction In 1917 America entered World War one. By doing this America played a grave role in conquering Germany and ushering peace to Europe. However, the Great War also meant that the US would change dramatically through historical issues and changes which resulted in American society. Industries had started to realise that it was not as simple as it was before to abstract the immigrants. As the country developed and became more successful it a...