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Execution in the United States

Lawful execution through the death penalty or capital punishment is the death sentence upon an individual through the judicial process as punishment for an offence by the individual. Crimes that can result in being sentenced to execution are considered capital offenses or capital crimes.
Capital is a term that originates from capitalis, a Latin word, that literally means “regarding the head”. The idea originated from the fact that originally, a capital crime was punishable by severing the body from the head.
Capital punishment has existed and been practiced by the majority of societies, while only 58 countries currently actively practice it. 95 countries have abolished execution while the countries remaining have not used it for over a decade or only have used in in extreme circumstances such as during wartime.
In the United States, capital punishment is practically applied to only aggravated murder, although occasionally it is applied to felony murder. Prior to the Declaration of Independence, executions were an enforced penalty for many felonies. After the American Revolution, execution was still maintained with the United States common law system.
Execution is a very controversial idea in many different states and countries and positions often rely on or are based off of a political or cultural ideology or a religious belief. In the United States, Capital punishment has constantly been a contentious social issue. Historically, the majority of the public favors it in murder cases, yet this support has changed over time.
The procedures of execution and the crimes that can warrant it vary by state by state and jurisdiction by jurisdiction and have done so throughout American history. Currently, 34 four jurisdictions have banned execution by law, while others have simply suspended its use. Meanwhile there are a few that are attempting to increase its applicability. In 2008 there were 37 executions in the United States and 46 executions in 2010, where all but two lethal injection.
In the 37 states as well as the federal government that have execution statutes, only five methods of execution are prescribed:
Lethal Injection
Lethal Gas
Firing Squad
Most of the executions performed in the United States are by lethal injection. However, more than half the jurisdictions also provide for alternative methods. The choice of method can be based off of:
The Inmate’s choice
Date of sentence or execution
Change of method being unconstitutional
Currently, Nebraska is the only state that does not have lethal injection as the main choice of execution. It also does not provide other options besides electrocution as the only method of execution. Currently, none of the states provide hanging, lethal gas, or a firing squad for the only method of execution.
Since the death penalty laws were reinstatement in 1976, New Jersey became the first state to repeal its laws in 2007. The Nebraska Supreme Court also repealed the laws in 2008 by saying the electric chair was not constitutional as a method of execution. Since there are no alternative methods, Nebraska in practice does not have a death penalty.