The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally "regarding the head". Hence a capital crime was originally one punished by severing the head from the body.
Currently only 58 nations actively practice ''Capital Punishment'' while 95 countries have abolished it.
''Capital Punishment'' is a matter of active controversy in various countries.
The UN General Assembly has adopted, in 2007 and 2008, non-binding resolutions calling for a global moratorium on executions, with a view to eventual abolition.China, India,USA and Indonesia, the four most populous countries in the world, continue to apply the death penaltyand voted against the General Assembly resolutions.
There is disagreement among Buddhists as to whether or not Buddhism forbids the death penalty.
The official teachings of Judaism approve the death penalty in principle but the standard of proof required for application of death penalty is extremely stringent
The Quran says the following: "If anyone kills person - unless it be (a punishment) for murder or for spreading mischief in the land — it would be as if he killed all people. And if anyone saves a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all people" (Qur'an 5:32).
Views on the death penalty in Christianity run a spectrum of opinions, from complete condemnation of the punishment, seeing it as a form of revenge and as contrary to Christ's message of forgiveness, to enthusiastic support based primarily on Old Testament law.
Capital Punishment in IndiaThe SC ruled in 1983 that the death penalty should be imposed only in "the rarest of rare cases''.
On April 27, 1995 Auto Shankar was hanged in Salem, Tamilnadu,India.
Since 1995 only one death sentence that of Dhananjoy Chatterjee in August 2004, took place .
About 29 mercy petitions are pending before the president, some of them from 1992.These include -
- three assassins of Rajiv Gandhi
- Khalistan Liberation Force terrorist Davinder Singh Bhullar who was convicted for killing nine persons and injuring 31
- Praveen Kumar for killing four members of his family in Mangalore in 1994
- Gurdev Singh, Satnam Singh, Para Singh and Sarabjit Singh, given death penalty for killing 17 persons in a village in Amritsar in 1991
- the cases of slain forest brigand Veerappan's four associates—Simon, Gnanprakasham, Meesekar Madaiah and Bilvendran—for killing 21 policemen in 1993
- Md Afzal (Afzal Guru) was convicted of conspiracy in connection with the Indian Parliament attack in 2001 and was sentenced to death. The Supreme Court of India upheld the sentence, ruling that the attack "shocked the conscience of the society at large." Afzal was scheduled to be executed on October 20, 2006, but the sentence was stayed. The Afzal case remains a volatile political issue.
- Ajmal Amir Kasab for 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai killing 72 people and waging war against the state