capital punishment

Capital punishment is the death penalty — having the state put someone to death as punishment for a crime.

Capital punishment is the worst punishment possible — the criminal is killed for committing a crime. In the United States, capital punishment is reserved for very serious crimes such as murder. Capital punishment is legal in most states, but not all, and is always a hotly debated topic. There have been many ways to enforce capital punishment over the years, including hanging and electrocuting, but these days it’s usually done by lethal injection.

Definitions of capital punishment
  1. noun
    putting a condemned person to death
    synonyms: death penalty, executing, execution
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    burning, burning at the stake
    execution by fire
    a form of capital punishment; victim is suspended by the neck from a gallows or gibbet until dead
    burning, electrocution
    execution by electricity
    beheading, decapitation
    execution by cutting off the victim's head
    the act of executing by a method widespread in the ancient world; the victim's hands and feet are bound or nailed to a cross
    the burning to death of heretics (as during the Spanish Inquisition)
    type of:
    corporal punishment
    the infliction of physical injury on someone convicted of committing a crime
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