Topic: The effect of public opinion toward death penalty
Thesis statement: The public opinion, although it plays an important role in terms of application of death penalty as a form of punishment for heinous crimes, is only part of the larger context in which society operates, therefore it is inevitable to determine the other factors that may affect implementation of death penalty, such as policy elites or policy makers, media, and the Church.
Statement of the problem:
1. How does public opinion influence the implementation and application of death penalty in a society, particularly in the Philippines?
2. How important is the role of public opinion in implementation or abolition of death penalty?
The birth of Death penalty: A brief history
It was in 1752 B.C.E. when death penalty has taken legal form (e.g., crucifixion, burning at the stake, hanging). The first written code in history, the Hammurabi Code, imposed death penalty as punishment for crimes such as murder and theft (King, 2004). Though the implementation of the first written law that time was not fair (crimes against rich people are considered more serious than crimes against poor people), death penalty has indeed marked its existence as a form of punishment.
During the Spanish Colonization in the Philippines, executions were also implemented. Some of these executions that have a great impact in the country’s history were of the Three Martyrs, or “GOMBURZA.” The Spaniards killed the three priests by garrotte, one of the most common methods for implementing death penalty during that time (Agoncillo, 1990). Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero, was also executed by a firing squad on the morning of December 30, 1896.
When United States started to put the Philippines under power, another method of death penalty was introduced. The electric chair as a form of capital punishment in the Philippines was used from 1924 to 1976 (History of Electric Chair, 2009).
It was during the...