From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Death penalty," "Death sentence," and "Execution" redirect here. For other uses, see Death penalty (disambiguation), Death Sentence (disambiguation), or Execution (disambiguation). For the Big Pun album, see Capital Punishment (album).
Capital punishment, also called the death penalty, is the execution of a convicted criminal by the state as punishment for crimes known as capital crimes or capital offenses. Historically, the execution of criminals and political opponents was used by nearly all societiesboth to punish crime and to suppress political dissent. Among countries around the world, almost all European and many Pacific Area states (including Australia, New Zealand and Timor Leste), and Canada have abolished capital punishment. In Latin America, most states have completely abolished the use of capital punishment, while some countries, however, like Brazil, allow for capital punishment only in exceptional situations, such as treason committed during wartime. The United States, Guatemala, most of the Caribbean and the majority of democracies in Asia (e.g. Japan and India) and Africa (e.g. Botswana and Zambia) retain it.
In most places that practice capital punishment today, the death penalty is reserved as punishment for premeditated murder, espionage, treason, or as part of military justice. In some countries sexual crimes, such as rape, adultery and sodomy, carry the death penalty, as do religious crimes such as apostasy (the formal renunciation of one's religion). In many retentionist countries (countries that use the death penalty), drug trafficking is also a capital offense. In China human trafficking and serious cases of corruption are also punished by the death penalty. In militaries around the world courts-martial have imposed death sentences for offenses such as cowardice, desertion, insubordination, and mutiny.
Capital punishment is a very contentious issue in some cultures.... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2007, 12). Capital Punishment. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 12, 2007, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Capital-Punishment-126881.html
"Capital Punishment" StudyMode.com. 12 2007. 12 2007 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Capital-Punishment-126881.html>.
"Capital Punishment." StudyMode.com. 12, 2007. Accessed 12, 2007. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Capital-Punishment-126881.html.