Capital Punishment

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.

Read more about Capital Punishment:  History, Controversy and Debate, Religious Views

Other articles related to "capital punishment, punishment, capital":

List Of United States Supreme Court Decisions On Capital Punishment
... Supreme Court has issued numerous rulings on the use of capital punishment (the death penalty) ... prescribed by territorial (or state) statute does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment ... Alabama Judges are required to ensure that indigent defendants in capital cases who could not represent themselves be appointed counsel ...
Capital Punishment - Religious Views - Judaism
... A capital case could not be tried by a normal Beit Din of three judges, it can only be adjudicated by a Sanhedrin of a minimum of 23 judges ... in 30, the Sanhedrin effectively abolished capital punishment, making it a hypothetical upper limit on the severity of punishment, fitting in finality for God ...
Stoning - In History - In Judaism - Mishna
... As God alone was deemed to be the only arbiter in the use of capital punishment, not fallible people, the Sanhedrin made stoning a hypothetical upper limit on ... in Jewish society about the effectiveness of capital punishment in general (and stoning in particular) in acting as a useful deterrent ... so many restrictions on the implementation of capital punishment as to make it de facto illegal ...
Capital Punishment In Norway
... Capital punishment in Norway (Norwegian dødsstraff) was abolished in 1979 ... The penal code/the criminal law of 1902, in force from 1905, abolished capital punishment in peacetime ... Military capital punishment was abolished in 1979 ...
Catholic Doctrine Regarding The Ten Commandments - Fifth Commandment - Capital Punishment
... Main article Catholic Church and capital punishment See also List of people executed by the Holy See For the first two hundred years, Christians "refused to kill in the military, in self-defense, or in the judicial ... as a public institution in 313, its attitude toward capital punishment became one of toleration but not outright acceptance ... Catholic theologians Saint Ambrose encouraged members of the clergy to pronounce and carry out capital punishment, while Augustine answered objections rooted in the fifth commandment in The City of God ...

Famous quotes containing the words capital punishment, punishment and/or capital:

    I should not regret a fair and full trial of the entire abolition of capital punishment.
    James Madison (1751–1836)

    A material resurrection seems strange and even absurd except for purposes of punishment, and all punishment which is to revenge rather than correct must be morally wrong, and when the World is at an end, what moral or warning purpose can eternal tortures answer?
    George Gordon Noel Byron (1788–1824)

    The great dialectic in our time is not, as anciently and by some still supposed, between capital and labor; it is between economic enterprise and the state.
    John Kenneth Galbraith (b. 1908)