Capital punishment or the death penalty is a legal process whereby a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime. The judicial decree that someone be punished in this manner is a death sentence, while the actual process of killing the person is an execution. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally "regarding the head" (referring to execution by beheading).
Capital punishment has, in the past, been practised by most societies (one notable exception being Kievan Rus); currently 58 nations actively practise it, and 97 countries have abolished it (the remainder have not used it for 10 years or allow it only in exceptional circumstances such as wartime). It is a matter of active controversy in various countries and states, and positions can vary within a single political ideology or cultural region. In the European Union member states, Article 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union prohibits the use of capital punishment.
Currently, Amnesty International considers most countries abolitionist. The UN General Assembly has adopted, in 2007, 2008 and 2010, non-binding resolutions calling for a global moratorium on executions, with a view to eventual abolition. Although many nations have abolished capital punishment, over 60% of the world's population live in countries where executions take place, such as the People's Republic of China, India, the United States of America and Indonesia, the four most-populous countries in the world, which continue to apply the death penalty (although in India, Indonesia and in many US states it is rarely employed). Each of these four nations voted against the General Assembly resolutions.
Other articles related to "death penalty, death, penalty":
... with the European Union) the death penalty was abolished for peace time offences ... Law 5218 of 14 July 2004 abolished the death penalty for all times ... The death sentence was replaced by aggravated life imprisonment (ağırlaştırılmış müebbet hapis cezası) ...
... Baylor did receive what amounted to a half-season death penalty - the cancellation of its non-conference games for the 2005-2006 season ... Further supporting this, the NCAA handed down a "death penalty" to Morehouse in 2003 for what it deemed "a complete failure" to comply with NCAA rules and regulations, even though it was Morehouse's ... the sanctions, the NCAA stated that the "death penalty" was primarily reserved for repeat violators that had neither cooperated with the NCAA nor taken ...
... was no official Church position on the death penalty ... The death penalty had support from early Catholic theologians Saint Ambrose encouraged members of the clergy to pronounce and carry out capital punishment, while Augustine answered objections rooted in the fifth ... of the Catholic Church states that the death penalty is permissible in cases of extreme gravity ...
... It is unclear whether the penalty was death or a fine ... making buggery punishable by hanging, a penalty not lifted until 1861 ... In 1786 Pietro Leopoldo of Tuscany, abolishing death penalty for all crimes, became not only the first Western ruler to do so, but also the first ruler to abolish death penalty for sodomy (which was replaced by ...
... The official teachings of Judaism approve the death penalty in principle but the standard of proof required for application of death penalty is ... practice, it has been abolished by various Talmudic decisions, making the situations in which a death sentence could be passed effectively impossible and hypothetical ... persons than to put a single innocent one to death." Maimonides argued that executing a defendant on anything less than absolute certainty would lead ...
Famous quotes containing the words penalty and/or death:
“No: until I want the protection of Massachusetts to be extended to me in some distant Southern port, where my liberty is endangered, or until I am bent solely on building up an estate at home by peaceful enterprise, I can afford to refuse allegiance to Massachusetts, and her right to my property and life. It costs me less in every sense to incur the penalty of disobedience to the State than it would to obey. I should feel as if I were worth less in that case.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Farewell deare flowers, sweetly your time ye spent,
Fit, while ye livd, for smell or ornament,
And after death for cures.
I follow straight without complaints or grief,
Since if my sent be good, I care not, if
It be as short as yours.”
—George Herbert (15931633)