The Death Penalty - Overview of the death penalty including history.
The Death Penalty
The first known execution in the United States of America was of Daniel Frank, put to death in 1622 in the Colony of Virginia for the crime of theft. Since then the death penalty has almost always been a feature of the criminal justice system, first in the American colonies and then, after independence, in the U.S.
Legal challenges to the death penalty culminated in a 5 to 4 U.S. Supreme Court decision Furman v. Georgia in 1972, which struck down federal and state capital punishment laws permitting wide judgment in the request of the death penalty. Characterizing these la…
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