Initial preferred death by strangulation over beheading

Initial Exposition of topic: Outline• Capital Punishment: The legally permitted execution of a captured and convicted criminal by the state • Background o Historical ? The Code of Hammurabi from ancient Babylonia (1700s BC) was the first legal document to codify the death penalty. In the code, 25 crimes were punishable by death; murder was not one of them. However, the death penalty was almost certainly used thousands of years before this event.? The Torah permits the death penalty for murder, kidnapping, magic, violation of the Sabbath, blasphemy, and a wide range of sexual crimes.? The Tang Dynasty abolished capital punishment for a period of twelve years until an uprising forced the ruling emperor to reinstate it.• On Chinese traditions: People preferred death by strangulation over beheading because, according Confucian tradition, it was considered improper to not die “in one piece”.? The Middle Ages saw a widespread use of capital punishment because of the lack of a prison system and brutal rulers • Henry VIII is considered to have executed more than 70,000 people during his reign • Also, witch hunts, while not common, occurred with greater frequency than ever before. Thousands of suspected witches received the death penalty.• Sodomy— John Smith and James Pratt example • In the 12th century,  Moses Maimonides, a Jewish legal scholar, said that “It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent man to death.” o He worried about the death penalty becoming to common and the amount of proof needed to use it decreasing ? Modern Era • Rise of rational choice theory— punishment will deter people from committing some crime • Cesare Beccaria— On crimes and punishments— abolish death penalty • In 1845, the first national death penalty abolition society, the American Society for the Abolition of Capital Punishment, was founded. Soon after, many states abolished capital punishment.• Example of misuse— Bloody Code in England • Firing squad becomes a viable method of execution • Authoritarian powers such as Stalin, Hitler, and Mao all use the death penalty to silence political opposition and secure their dominance o Cultural revolution, great terror, and final solution • Post WWII world o A lot of countries begin to abolish the death penalty o Shift from dictatorships to democracy is a cause of this decline in useo United Nations has tried multiple times to outlaw the practice of capital punishment— they have all failed thus far • The rise of lethal injection— considered a more civilized way to execute people in a manner which is considered to humans o Statistical? 23 countries were known to have carried out judicial executions in 2016. At least 1,032 executions were carried out in 2016, a 37% decrease from the previous year. • 676 executions are known to have been carried out in 20 countries in 2012.• There has been an overall trend of less executions since 2000? The countries with confirmed executions in 2016 were China (1,000s), Iran (567), and saudi Arabia (154). ? Most European countries have abolished the death penalty, as have Canada, Mexico, and Australia.• Belarus is the only exception in Europe ? China and Iran have led the world in executions for many years. • However, China hides their number of executions, so the attributed 1,000+ could be deflated ? In the US, 31 States have the death penalty, while only 19 states do not.? The costs of capital punishment • $620,932 per trial in federal death cases—eight times higher than that of a case where the death penalty is not sought. o including appeals, incarceration times and the actual execution in a death penalty case, the cost is closer to $3 million per inmate. o However, court costs, attorney fees and incarceration for a life sentence is only $1 million. • studies have found that the greater the price of legal counsel in a capital punishment case the less likely the defendant is to be sentenced to deatho This fact can lead to more problems with capital punishment because it shows possible inherent bias in trials o Scientific ? Lethal Injection• Typically, three drugs are used in lethal injection. Sodium thiopental (Pentothal), more recently pentobarbital, is used to induce unconsciousness, pancuronium bromide (Pavulon) to cause muscle paralysis and respiratory arrest, and potassium chloride to stop the heart. • Pentobarbital is a central nervous system depressant that can be given as a short term relief for insomnia, but can be addictive, leading to doses that could prove fatal. • Pancuronium bromide is a non-depolarizing neuromuscular blocking agent that is given to general anesthesia, to facilitate tracheal intubation and to provide skeletal muscle relaxation during surgery. • A botched execution can cause gasping and violent movements? Gas chamber • Use cyanide or some other chemical to the same effect • If prisoner breathes in, they will experience, more or less, an easy death • However, most people hold their breathe and as a result experience an agonizing death ? Firing Squad• Shoot the heart which causes death within 20 seconds • Five shooters with one given a blank, so no one knows for sure who killed the prisoner• If botched, the prisoner slowly bleeds to death ? Hanging• A story of rope: if the rope is two long, the prisoners head will be ripped off. If the rope is two short, the prisoner will slowly suffocate to death over a 14 minute time span. If just right, the prisoner will fall with the rope snapping his neck and instantly killing him ? Lingchi• Death by a thousand cuts— deals with the Confucian tradition talked about earlier ? Beheading • Usually an instant death • If the blade is full, it can take multiple strikes • Favorite among French and extremists • Presence in daily life o For most people, capital punishment will never personally affect them. This is not necessarily a huge issue as in amount, but instead there exists a battle over the principles surrounding it. Does the states have the right to kill someone? Can people actually change? Does anyone have the right to kill someone? Just to name a few. Capital punishment is a battle over the right to life.o However, for some, capital punishment is a major presence in their lives. For this who had a loved killed or injured by someone on death row, capital punishment can provide closure and happiness or bring about even more sadness. For this on death row, capital punishment and its legal existence decides their fate.o Closing ? Examples or stories from people’s lives about the death penalty