Deliberation Materials: Crime and Punishment (external link)

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Deliberation Materials: Crime and Punishment

Should our democracy ban the death penalty?

Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is the lawful execution of a convicted criminal by the government. Sixty-two countries, including India, Pakistan, Cuba, Japan, Iran, Iraq, China, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, retain the death penalty. In a democracy, there are limits on how the government can punish persons convicted of crimes. Almost all democracies, for example, forbid torture or cruel punishments for prisoners. There are dramatic differences, however, regarding capital punishment—both within and among democracies.