Britain influenced americas use of the death penalty more than any other country 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. The death penalty has existed in the united states since colonial times its history is intertwined with slavery segregation and social reform movements there are excellent sources available for those interested in the history of capital punishment the following pages contain a brief summary of . Trial and error capital punishment in us history by william s mcfeely americans engaged in the debate over the morality and effectiveness of the death penalty as well as issues of discrimination in its application often mistakenly assume its unquestioned presence throughout american history
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