What began as a public event soon became more private as executions were moved from outdoor gathering spaces to within prison walls. The death penalty has been in use in the United States since the mid-1600s. Early criminals were often put to death in front of jeering crowds who celebrated the act of execution. But the morbid desire to see people being killed was not diminished once executions were removed from public spaces. Crowds of people still clamored to gain entry to the exclusive events. The more publicized the crime, the more well-attended the execution.