Henry 474, while Virginia, the state with

        Henry Ford once said, “Capital punishment is as fundamentally wrong as a cure for crime as charity is wrong as a cure for poverty”. Capital punishment (the death penalty) is the legal killing of an individual as punishment for a crime they have committed. Many methods are/were used for capital punishment.While many people believe that capital punishment is right, many people also believe that capital punishment is wrong. Why does capital punishment exist and what is the reasoning behind its use? Also, were there court cases involving capital punishment?        The use of capital punishment dates back to the eighteenth century (B.C.). In the eighteenth century, scribes wrote 282 laws on twelve clay tablets. This was called the Code of Hammurabi. 22 of the 282 laws mentioned in the Code of Hammurabi were about capital punishment. In fact, the Code of Hammurabi contained the first death penalty laws and this is why Britain influenced America for the death penalty. The death penalty was to only be used if 25 specific crimes were committed. Surprisingly, murder was not one of those crimes. Ever since then, capital punishment has never been 100% abolished. In 2015, 58 countries carried out the death penalty. Some of these countries include Egypt, Jamaica, China, Japan, and the United States. In the United States, 31 of the 50 states allow for capital punishment.  Texas remains the state with the most executions at a staggering number of 474, while Virginia, the state with the second largest amount of executions, has 109 executions.         There are various methods that are used in capital punishment. Lethal injection is the most common method used by all 50 states in the U.S. ; in fact, the United States was the first country to introduce that method. It was first suggested in New York in 1888 but then it was made legal in Oklahoma in 1977. Lethal injection involves the injection of a person with poison. Usually a person is strapped to a gurney and rolled into an execution chamber. In that execution chamber, two intravenous tubes are inserted into the person (deathpenalty.org). Then a saline solution begins to flow into that person once the intravenous tubes have been inserted. Usually, the person is given a chance to have their final sayings before they pass. Also sometimes, the person who is being executed can be viewed by the victim’s loved ones (if the crime was murder). One drug puts the person to sleep and another drug paralyzes the muscle system. After the whole procedure, the person is dead in a matter of minutes. Another method of capital punishment is electrocution. When this method is used, the person is strapped to a chair and usually shaved. While the person is strapped to the chair, a metal electrode is placed over the head with a sponge under it. During the preparation of electrocution, the person is blindfolded. Then a handle is pulled; this releases 500 to 2000 volts of electricity for approximately 30 seconds. If the person’s heart is still beating after that, then the handle is pulled again. Until the person is finally dead, the process is repeated (deathpenalty.org). Electrocution is not used so much today as a method for capital punishment but it is most certainly an option in a few states. What is also optional in a few states as well is death by a gas chamber. During this execution, a person is strapped to a chair while sulfuric acid lays beneath it. Once the process begins, a lever is pulled to release crystals of sodium cyanide into the bucket of sulfuric acid. The chemical reaction of sulfuric acid and the crystals of sodium cyanide creates hydrogen cyanide gas (deathpenalty.org). To make time go faster, the person who is being executed is expected to take very deep breaths. The person does not pass out right away most of the time because the gas being released can cause pain, struggling, and torture. The scene can get very horrific. The hanging of a person can be horrific as well. Hanging is a method of capital punishment too. Delaware and Washington are the only two states in the U.S. that allow for hanging today. But, hanging used to be the main method of capital punishment in the U.S. That only lasted until 1890. When a person is going to be hanged as a result of the death penalty, they must be weighed in order to know the length drop necessary for a quick death (deathpenalty.org). To make sure of this, a sandbag, that is the same weight of the person being executed, is tested to see the results. The rope that is used for the execution is usually stretched and boiled and the knot should be waxed and lubricated (deathpenalty.org). While preparing for the entire execution, the person becomes blindfolded. When it starts, a door, that is placed on the floor, is opened and the person falls through it. Last but not least, firing squad is a method of capital punishment by shooting. The last execution by this method was used in 2010 by the person’s choosing. The person is strapped to a chair while covered with a face mask. Then shooters aim at the person’s heart. When the person is shot, they should lose consciousness by about 15 seconds and then pass away.        Capital punishment is still used today in some parts of the world. Although this punishment still exists, some people seem to agree and some people seem to disagree with the use of it. Some people might believe in revenge and that is also why some people might believe in the death penalty. Especially if murder was the crime that was committed; the loved ones of that family might be for it because they are so mad and devastated about the crime that was committed. This reasoning can also relate to the saying, “an eye for an eye”.  It is also said that capital punishment is mentioned in the Bible; “it clearly calls for capital punishment in the case of intentional murder” (religion.blogs.cnn.com). People want closure as well. By enforcing capital punishment, the victim’s family (assuming the crime was murder) might receive closure by doing so. People also believe that justice is served by taking a criminal’s life. But other people might disagree with this opinion due to their beliefs. For instance, someone might believe that a person, who would be considered for capital punishment, should be punished but, not by death. They might believe that a person should just spend the rest of their lives in jail because they deserve to suffer rather than taking the easy way out by receiving the death penalty. Also, the death penalty seems to contradict itself. “Why kill people who kill people to show killing is wrong?” (Balancedpolitics.org). It is also believed that the inmate’s can suffer as well. The family probably wouldn’t want to see them die, even if they did something wrong. They might believe they deserve to be punished but not specifically death.         Furman v. Georgia is a court case that relates to capital punishment. A black adult man named William Henry Furman was sentenced to the death penalty after an attempt to rob a house. Of course he was not successful in robbing the house but instead shot the homeowner. After being sentenced, Furman appealed and took his case to the Supreme Court. He said that this violated the 14th amendment which states all citizens are treated equally no matter what race they are. The Supreme Court heard him out and came to a decision that capital punishment is cruel and unusual punishment which also violated the 8th amendment as well (YouTube.com). There was also no uniform criteria which is “a consistent standard by which things can be measured.” Eventually, Furman avoided the death penalty. But 4 years later, The Supreme Court Case, Gregg v. Georgia, came into play. Two friends, Troy Gregg and Floyd Allen, decided to hitchhike in Florida. Once they finally found a car, Troy shot and killed both the driver and the driver’s friend and drove all the way to North Carolina. Eventually the police found them. Gregg was sentenced to the death penalty but he appealed by saying it violated the 8th and 14th amendment. Although he appealed, the Supreme Court justified that the execution of Gregg was constitutional because according to kids.laws.com, Gregg was tried, head, and sentenced through a formal judicial system. This determined that Gregg was to still be sentenced to death.        Should or should capital punishment exist? According to its origins, capital punishment seems like it will not end for a very long time despite people’s opinions. Although the U.S was very close to having it abolished, a Supreme Court Case came into action 4 years later, restoring the death penalty. Capital punishment is allowed in 58 different countries and will most likely continue to be that way unless certain things can change in the future.