Capital Punishment, or the death penalty, is as old as civilization. From the Code of Hammurabi in ancient Mesopotamia to the statutes of the United States of America, societies have lawfully executed criminals. Today, much of the world has abolished capital punishment, while in the United States, punishment is decided on a state-by-state basis.

Two Sides to the Story

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, there have been more than 15,000 people executed in the United States since 1608. Within that period, many vocal opponents and proponets have debated the worth, morality and purpose of capital punishment. See some of their arguments here.

A Legal Matter

Also, the Supreme Court has made several decisions regarding the application of the death penalty to certain groups, inlcuding juveniles, the mentally handicapped and those who commit crimes less than murder.

Around the World

Finally, see the current state of capital punishment both in America today and around the world.