death penalty
death penalty n: death as punishment for a crime – called also capital punishment; see also cruel and unusual punishment; gregg v. georgia in the important cases section
◇ The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the death penalty is not inherently violative of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, provided that the method is not deemed cruel and that the punishment is not excessive in relation to the crime. A statute mandating the death penalty is unconstitutional, however. A sentencing judge is required to consider any mitigating circumstances before imposing the death penalty for a crime.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

death penalty
n.
Capital punishment; punishing someone for a serious crime such as murder by killing him or her.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


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. Protocol 6 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.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.


death penalty
The sentence of execution for murder and some other capital crimes. (See also: capital punishment)
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


death penalty
n. The court-ordered imposition of a sentence of execution as punishment for a crime.
See also punishment

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

death penalty
n.
   the sentence of execution for murder and some other capital crimes.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • death penalty — death .penalty n [singular] the legal punishment of death →↑capital punishment ▪ Three Britons are facing the death penalty for spying …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Death Penalty — • The infliction by due legal process of the penalty of death as a punishment for crime. Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • death penalty — n. a sentence of death by execution: used with the * * * ➡ capital punishment * * * …   Universalium

  • death penalty — n. a sentence of death by execution: used with the …   English World dictionary

  • death penalty — ► NOUN ▪ punishment by execution …   English terms dictionary

  • Death Penalty — Weltkarte des Todesstrafen Status aller Länder Blau: Todesstrafe ohne Ausnahme abgeschafft. Hellblau: Todesstrafe im Kriegsrecht. Khaki: Seit mindestens 10 Jahren keine Anwendung. Orange: Anwendung nur gegen Erwachsene …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • death penalty — noun putting a condemned person to death • Syn: ↑execution, ↑executing, ↑capital punishment • Derivationally related forms: ↑execute (for: ↑executing), ↑executioner ( …   Useful english dictionary

  • Death penalty —    Capital punishment was part of the Dutch crimi nal justice administration until the late 19th century. Criticism of the death penalty and of torture and corporal punishment in general during the Enlightenment led to a gradual humanization of… …   Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands

  • death penalty — N SING: usu the N The death penalty is the punishment of death used in some countries for people who have committed very serious crimes. If convicted for murder, both youngsters could face the death penalty …   English dictionary

  • death penalty — The extreme penalty for the commission of a crime, to be executed within the manner provided by statute, such as hanging, electrocution, or asphyxiation by gas. There is a definite legislative trend toward the abolition of the death penalty,… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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