The United States is the only western DEMOCRACY that executes offenders; other countries decided that death penalty violates moral standards for punishment. Maybe death penalty raised so many issues for any system of punishment, such as the humanity of the punishment and the veracity of the clemency process. But death penalty goes back to ancient times and has been used in the United States since colonial times. I am not a religious person, but I believed in God and also according to the bible in Deuteronomy 19:21, gives the phrase, “Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” Also other books of the Old Testament call for the death of someone who commits at least 21 offenses including murder, prostitution, adultery, sodomy, blasphemy, homosexuality, premarital sex, witchcraft etc. A little too extreme but is in the bible.
Executions in ancient times were common and the usual method was stoning the offender. The ancient Chinese sometimes executed people by cutting away small bits of the offender flesh for several days. During the Middle Ages, burning a person at the stake was a popular method of execution, especially for women. Thousands of women thought to be witches were burned or executed in Europe from 1400’s to 1700’s. In the early nineteenth century, hanging was a common way of execution. When the English and other Europeans came to the New World or United States, they brought the practice of execution with them. Hanging was the perfect method in the colonies. Capital offenses included adultery, murder, blasphemy, rebellion, and witchcraft. During the times of the “wild West” a few judges sentence numerous of defendants to death by hanging, but judges said these punishments are necessary to bring law and order to the territories.
In the late 1930’s the number of U.S. executions increased but then decreased through the late 1960’s and in 1967 there has been one execution for every.