2. Capital punishment: A government sanctioned practice whereby a person is sentenced to death by the state as punishment. 56 countries retain capital punishment including China, Iran, Pakistan, USA (only western country), Egypt. In US 31 states use the death penalty inc New York, Michigan, Connecticut. Last executions in UK was by hanging in 1964, abolished in 1965. Remained a legally defined punishment for treason until completely abolished in 1998.