The electric chair was introduced at the end of the century. had just entered World War I and there were intense class conflicts as socialists mounted the first serious challenge to capitalism.
New York built the first electric chair in 1888, and in 1890 executed William Kemmler. (Randa, 1997) Early and Mid-Twentieth Century Although some states abolished the death penalty in the mid-Nineteenth Century, it was actually the first half of the Twentieth Century that marked the beginning of the "Progressive Period" of reform in the United States. S., as citizens began to panic about the threat of revolution in the wake of the Russian Revolution. As a result, five of the six abolitionist states reinstated their death penalty by 1920.
Northwestern University holds the first-ever National Conference on Wrongful Convictions and the Death Penalty.
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.
However, it was Cesare Beccaria's 1767 essay, On Crimes and Punishment, that had an especially strong impact throughout the world.
In the essay, Beccaria theorized that there was no justification for the state's taking of a life.
Under these laws, offenses such as striking one's mother or father, or denying the "true God," were punishable by death.
(Randa, 1997)The abolitionist movement finds its roots in the writings of European theorists Montesquieu, Voltaire and Bentham, and English Quakers John Bellers and John Howard.
Laws regarding the death penalty varied from colony to colony.
By the end of the century, the world would see the countries of Venezuela, Portugal, Netherlands, Costa Rica, Brazil and Ecuador follow suit. In 1838, in an effort to make the death penalty more palatable to the public, some states began passing laws against mandatory death sentencing instead enacting discretionary death penalty statutes.
The 1838 enactment of discretionary death penalty statutes in Tennessee, and later in Alabama, were seen as a great reform.
The death penalty was also part of the Fourteenth Century B. C.'s Draconian Code of Athens, which made death the only punishment for all crimes; and in the Fifth Century B. Death sentences were carried out by such means as crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burning alive, and impalement. D., hanging became the usual method of execution in Britain.
In the following century, William the Conqueror would not allow persons to be hanged or otherwise executed for any crime, except in times of war.