Capital Punishment
Death and Dying

What is the death penalty?



User Avatar
Wiki User

The death penalty is punishment for committing a "capital offense", such as murder or treason, where the government having jurisdiction over the crime and the criminal puts the person convicted of the crime to death. The method used in most jurisdictions today is that of lethal injection, where a number of drugs are injected into the person to sedate and then cause death. Many states have abolished it, believing it to be cruel and unusual punishment forbidden by the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution, even though the US Supreme Court has ruled that it is not provided that it is administered effectively with as little pain as posssible and not in any racially discriminatory manner. Over the years in the US there have been many methods of imposing the death penalty from the firing squad to the hangman's noose to the electric chair to the gas chamber to lethal injection. It makes a person wonder why, if the death penalty is not cruel, do we keep looking for ways to make it easier on the person being executed.