Colonial period[ edit ] Abolitionists gathered support for their claims from writings by European Enlightenment philosophers such as MontesquieuVoltaire who became convinced the death penalty was cruel and unnecessary  and Bentham. In addition to various philosophers, many members of QuakersMennonites and other peace churches opposed the death penalty as well.
Late s - United States abolitionist movement begins. Early s - Many states reduce their number of capital crimes and build state penitentiaries.
Dismissing potential jurors solely because they express opposition to the death penalty held unconstitutional. Ohio and McGautha v. The Supreme Court approves of unfettered jury discretion and non-bifurcated trials.
June - Furman v.
Supreme Court effectively voids 40 death penalty statutes and suspends the death penalty. Guided discretion statutes approved.
Death penalty reinstated January 17, - Ten-year moratorium on executions ends with the execution of Gary Gilmore by firing squad in Utah. Held death penalty is an unconstitutional punishment for rape of an adult woman when the victim is not killed.
December 7, - Charles Brooks becomes the first person executed by lethal injection. Execution of insane persons banned. Prosecutor who strikes a disproportionate number of citizens of the same race in selecting a jury is required to rebut the inference of discrimination by showing neutral reasons for his or her strikes.
Racial disparities not recognized as a constitutional violation of "equal protection of the law" unless intentional racial discrimination against the defendant can be shown. Executions of offenders age fifteen and younger at the time of their crimes is unconstitutional.
Kentucky, and Wilkins v. Eighth Amendment does not prohibit the death penalty for crimes committed at age sixteen or seventeen. Executing persons with "mental retardation" is not a violation of the Eighth Amendment.
In the absence of other constitutional grounds, new evidence of innocence is no reason for federal court to order a new trial. The Conference brings together 30 inmates who were freed from death row because of innocence. Louis, Missouri, and calls for an end to the death penalty.
April - U. January - Illinois Governor George Ryan declares a Moratorium on executions and appoints a blue-ribbon Commission on Capital Punishment to study the issue.
January - Gov. George Ryan grants clemency to all of the remaining death row inmates in Illinois because of the flawed process that led to these sentences. March - In Roper V. Simmons, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty for those who had committed their crimes under 18 years of age was cruel and unusual punishment.
December - The New Jersey General Assembly votes to become the first state to legislatively abolish capital punishment since it was re-instated in February - The Nebraska Supreme Court rules electrocution, the sole execution method in the state, to be cruel and unusual punishment, effectively freezing all executions in the state.
June - Kennedy v. Capital punishment cannot apply to those convicted of child rape where no death occurs. March - Governor Bill Richardson signs legislation to repeal the death penalty in New Mexico, replacing it with life without parole.
March - Governor Pat Quinn signs legislation to repeal the death penalty in Illinois, replacing it with life without parole. The death penalty was also part of the Fourteenth Century B. Death sentences were carried out by such means as crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burning alive, and impalement.The Debate Over Capital Punishment - The debate over capital punishment has been raging on for countless number of years.
Capital punishment has been used for thousands of years due to the physiological fear it inflicts on the people who witness and learn about the death penalty. United States of America's death penalty laws and how they are applied, including death row and execution numbers, death-eligible crimes, methods of execution, appeals and clemency, availability of lawyers, prison conditions, ratification of international instruments, and recent developments.
The United States - "Capital" of the World: An Analysis of Why the United States Practices Capital Punishment While the International Tred is Towards its Abolition of , which called for the implementation of capital punishment for a murder.
In addition to the death penalty laws in many states, the federal government has also employed capital punishment for certain federal offenses, such as murder of a government official, kidnapping resulting in death, running a large-scale drug enterprise, and treason.
Statistical information and publications about capital punishment in the United States from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. An Economic Analysis of the Death Penalty Since the United States' inception, capital punishment has been used as a form of retribution, incapacitation, and restitution against society's most vicious criminals.
While state's implementation of the death penalty.