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Compose a 2250 words assignment on death penalty in the u.s. Needs to be plagiarism free! Death penalty laws varied in different colonies. The colony of Massachusetts Bay carried its first execution in 1630. however, New England’s capital laws had to stay until the following year. The Colony of New York established the Duke’s Laws in the year 1665 which allowed offenses such as denying the True God and striking one’s parents punishable by death.

During the colonial times, there arose abolitionists movements that had their roots from the works of theorists such as Bentham and Voltaire, Montesquieu, English Quakers such as John Howard, and John Bellers. However, Cesare Beccaria in 1767 wrote an essay that had a very strong impact all over the world. Beccaria claimed that it was not justified for the state to kill anybody. This gave the abolitionists renewed energy and an authoritative voice which led to the abolition of death sentence in Tuscany and Austria.

Intellectuals from America were also influenced by Beccaria. The very first attempt in the US to reform the death penalty occurred when a bill was introduced by Thomas Jefferson to do a revision on the death penalty laws in Virginia. This bill made a proposal of using capital punishment only on crimes of treason and murder. It did not sail through and was trounced by only one vote.Dr.Benjamin Rush who was a founder of the Pennsylvania Prison Society and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was also influenced. Benjamin put forth a challenge that capital punishment would serve as a deterrent. He believed and argued that the continued application of the death penalty led to an increase in criminal conduct. Benjamin was supported by Benjamin Franklin and the Attorney of Philadelphia William Bradford. Bradford would become the Attorney General of the US later on. Led by Benjamin Rush Pennsylvania would become the first state to make a consideration on degrees of murder on the basis of culpability.

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