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Capital Punishment Defined

Capital Punishment Defined


Capital Punishment Defined:

Capital punishment refers to a practice in which prisoners are executed in accordance with the judicial practice. Capital punishment is realized when an individual is convicted of committing what is referred to as a “capital crime.”

Capital crimes are defined as criminal actions that are so heinous in nature, that they should be punishable by death. Also referred to as the “death penalty”, capital punishment is the most severe consequence instituted by a governing body. Currently 58 nations actively practice and institute capital punishments; capital punishments are viewed as highly controversial because of the risk of wrongful executions.

Although different countries and states possess their own interpretation and subsequent method for initiating a capital punishment penalty, the majority of those who practice the act will exercise one of the various methods: the electric chair (used in Alabama, Nebraska, Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, Illinois, and Kentucky), the gas chamber (used in Wyoming, California, Missouri and Arizona), hanging (used in Washington, Delaware, and New Hampshire), lethal injection (all states in the US that use capital punishment with the exception of Nebraska), and shooting (used in Idaho, Oklahoma, and Utah).

Although capital punishment is practiced by the majority of states in America, the act of killing a convicted individual is often times considered a last resort. Capital punishment is therefore reserved for the most heinous and serial of acts. For instance, attacks against the government, terrorist actions, mass murders, or killings of a serial nature are typically the only crimes which would initiate a capital punishment.