in the Code of King Hammaurabi of Babylon, which codified the death penalty for 25 different crimes. The death penalty was also part of the Fourteenth Century B.C.'s Hittite Code; in the Seventh Century B.C.'s Draconian Code of Athens, which made death the only punishment for all crimes; and in the Fifth Century B.C.'s Roman Law of the Twelve Tablets. Death sentences were carried out by such means as crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burning alive, and impalement. (Randa, 1997).
Britain influenced America the use of death penalty. When European settlers came to the new world, they brought the practice of capital punishment. The first recorded execution in the new colonies was that of Captain George Kendall in the Jamestown colony of Virginia in 1608. Kendall was executed for being a spy for Spain. In 1612, Virginia Governor Sir Thomas Dale enacted the Divine, Moral and Martial Laws, which provided the death penalty for even minor offenses such as stealing grapes, killing chickens, and trading with Indians.
Laws regarding the death penalty varied from colony to colony. The Massachusetts Bay Colony held its first execution in 1630, even though the Capital Laws of New England did not go into effect until years later. The New York Colony instituted the Duke's Laws of 1665. Under these laws, offenses such as striking one's mother or father, or denying the "true God," were punishable by death. (Randa, 1997).
Media is a powerful source of information. There are cases wherein cases are being trial publicly thru media. This has influenced the development of policy in death penalty. Before death penalty execution are being seen by people thru television. After that incident a lot of people reacted differently, some agrees and some think that it is unhuman. Because of what they have seen on tv it has lead the people to contradict the idea of death penalty causing the government to revise the policies involving death penalty to avoid the reactions of the people.
When the death penalty was first carried out again in 1993 in Japan, the Yomiuri Newspaper reported this news on the front page of its morning edition.
There was also extensive TV coverage in the morning news. By evening, many other
newspapers also picked up the story. For a while - right after this happened -- the media immediately covered all executions, and brought up discussions about the death penalty whenever an execution took place. However, in the last several years, such news has become daily fare, and the public's interest has been languishing. Now, newspapers just report announcements or summarize what happened in just a few lines. (Masanori, 2004).
The government in America feels that it would lead to a deeper discussion if they would televise every execution done, so they decided not to do this again and revise the policies in death penalty. Information campaigns are also being done by the government to clearly explain the process of death penalty. Some organization feels that there is no need to implement death penalty to reduce crime rate, they feel that proper approach and information would lead to a better nation.
The Influence of Public Opinion
The American government