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What Is Capital Punishment?

Also referred to as the death penalty, capital punishment handed to those who are convicted of a capital crime. The term capital punishment originates from the Latin word capitalis, which literally translates into “regarding the head”. As history would prove, capital punishment usually meant decapitation, the severing of one’s head.

Capital punishment or death penalty does not exist in all legal systems around the world because of its controversial violation of human rights. Human rights and other civil groups protest the use of capital punishment since it involves murder. It has also been stated that there is an uneven application of capital punishment within the justice system. Thus, criminals who may have committed the same offense may not necessarily receive the same sentence such as capital punishment. Countries define various offenses as worthy of capital punishment. Some jurisdictions consider drug trafficking and first-degree murder as meriting capital punishment. However, other countries that consider homosexuality a crime may hand out a death penalty for someone who is convicted of this offense.

There has been much argument in support of capital punishment. Some argue that it poses as a threat, a legal deterrent to would-be criminals. It serves as a reminder that criminals do pay for the offenses they commit. It also prevents convicts who have perpetrated such offensive crimes from being given the opportunity to be paroled from imprisonment. Others also argue that capital punishment is a commensurate sentence for those who have committed truly offensive acts, and that such a punishment can be carried out in a just manner.

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