Concept

Capital punishment

Summary
Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty and formerly called judicial homicide, is the state-sanctioned practice of killing a person as a punishment for a crime, usually following an authorized, rule-governed process to conclude that the person is responsible for violating norms that warrant said punishment. The sentence ordering that an offender be punished in such a manner is known as a death sentence, and the act of carrying out the sentence is known as an execution. A prisoner who has been sentenced to death and awaits execution is condemned and is commonly referred to as being "on death row". Etymologically, the term capital (lit. "of the head", derived via the Latin capitalis from caput, "head") refers to execution by beheading, but executions are carried out by many methods, including hanging, shooting, lethal injection, stoning, electrocution, and gassing. Crimes that are punishable by death are known as capital crimes, capital offences, or
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