Capital punishment, also called the death penalty, means killing a person as punishment for a crime. By the end of 2010, thirty-five states and the federal government allowed the death penalty for criminal homicide, or murder. The District of Columbia and the following states did not allow the death penalty: Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Read More.
Fewer and fewer crimes are punishable by death even in countries where execution is legal, and crimes that are widely considered to be extremely serious, such as murder, often lead to prison sentences rather than capital punishment. In 1991, offenses under the laws of over ninety countries carried a penalty of death. In eighty-five, execution was illegal or had ceased to be imposed. Read More.
Apprehension, examination before a judge, and correction are the three components of the U.S. criminal justice system. Apprehension, the investigation and arrest of an individual suspected of committing a crime, is the responsibility of police and other law enforcement agencies. Read More.
Policing in the United States is highly decentralized, meaning the legal authority to police is split among federal, state, and local forces. Most police forces largely operate independently, unlike policing in other countries. Read More.