Capital punishment is one of the most controversial issues facing global society, both today and historically. Many countries have abolished the death penalty. Those which have not include the United States, China, India, Japan, and most Islamic states. The United States is the only Western nation still using capital punishment.
Proponents of the death penalty argue that it is a deterrent to crime, prevents offenders from committing further crimes, and is a tool prosecutors and police can use when plea bargaining with defendants. Opponents believe capital punishment is inhumane, discriminates against poor and minority defendants, and does not actually deter crime.