Report No. 202
3.4 Capital Punishment:
Capital punishment, also known as the Death Penalty, is the execution of a convicted criminal by the state as punishment for crimes known as capital crimes or capital offences. It is the infliction by due legal process of the penalty of death as a punishment for crime. The idea of capital punishment is of great antiquity and formed a part of the primal concepts of the human race.
This has been one of the most primitive and commonly used forms of inflicting punishment for criminals as well as political enemies. In the world-wide scenario prevalent now-a-days, countries like most European (all except Belarus), Latin American, many Pacific States (including Australia, New Zealand and East Timor) and Canada have done away with capital punishment. Even among the non-Democratic nations, the practice is rare but not predominant.
The latest countries to abolish the death penalty for all crimes are Philippines in June 2006 and France in February 2007. Still many civilized nations continue to harbour this punitive tradition. Chief among them are United States, Guatemala, and most of the Caribbean as well as some democracies in Asia (e.g. Japan and India) and Africa (e.g. Botswana and Zambia).