death penalty


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

death penalty

n. the sentence of execution for murder and some other capital crimes. (See: capital punishment)

death penalty

verb capital punishment, corporal punishment, death sentence, death warrant, punishment by execution, ultimate penalty
Associated concepts: cruel and unusual punishment, death warrant, Eighth Amendment, life in prison

death penalty

punishment by way of killing the offender. The various modes through time and space have been hanging (Anglo-American), guillotine (France) and electrocution and lethal injection (USA). It is extremely popular with the public and the families of victims, but, because it is so easy to make a mistake in any judicial process and this particular legal cock-up cannot be corrected by more paper shuffling, it is going out of fashion. While the framers of the US Constitution could not outlaw it by preventing cruel and unusual punishment (if everybody does it, it is usual and if you do it quickly it's not cruel). Modern human rights lawyers have rather started to eliminate it. The penalty no longer exists for any offence in the UK. The UK ratified Protocol 6 of the European Convention in May 1999, which commits contracting parties to permanently abolishing the death penalty. In December 1999 the UK ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which also abolishes the death penalty. The death penalty for treason and piracy was abolished by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.
References in periodicals archive ?
This reliably high majority of support belies a powerful current of change in recent years that has rendered the death penalty a far rarer judicial outcome than before.
History of the Death Penalty from the Code of Hammurabi in 1700s BC to present
In the meantime, the Legislature should refer to the 2016 ballot a measure that would abolish the death penalty in Oregon.
States were also called on to reduce the number of offences for which the death penalty might be imposed.
Aslam Khaki Advocate presented the Islamic point of view on the death penalty and agreed that death penalty death penalty for many offences could be abolished.
If the Legislature wants to bar lawyers who "have made mistakes" in handling death penalty cases from taking any cases in the future, the state better be prepared to fork over the money to hire and train fully competent counsel.
6, adopted in 1982 provides for the abolition of the death penalty in peacetime, and its Protocol No.
Californians are expected to vote in November on a death penalty repeal.
But Kent Scheidegger, legal director for the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, which supports the death penalty, disagrees.
If passed, it will be the first time the number of crimes subject to the death penalty has been reduced since the People's Republic of China enacted its Criminal Law in 1979.
According to the statement, the EU's efforts to achieve a death-penalty-free world culminated in the adoption of the resolution on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty by the UN General Assembly in December 2007 and 2008.