The death penalty has been practiced around the world for many centuries. What is the death penalty? I will answer this question as well as go into some of the methods used now and in the past; we will also cover some of the arguments in favor of the death penalty as well as some of the arguments against the death penalty. The death penalty is a state-sanctioned murder that is used to punish a criminal for a variety of different terrible crimes that he or she might have committed in our society. The death penalty is most commonly handed down as punishment for the crime of murder. The idea of the death penalty ideally is to curb the behavior of the murderer or a lawbreaker so this behavior might not come from other people. Does this work? Is the death penalty the right way to deal with serious crime in our society and is it effective as a deterrent? The idea of putting another human to death is hard to completely imagine. The physical mechanics involved in the act of execution are easy to grasp, but the emotions involved in carrying out the death penalty on another person, regardless of how much they deserve it, are beyond my own understanding. However this act is sometimes necessary and it is our responsibility as a society to see that it is done. Most societies have thought it to be fair punishment for ruthless crimes; it prevents the murderer from ever murdering again, and it removes the burden of taxpayers to have to house and feed the convicted murderer. It seems easy to understand that as Americans we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with equal opportunities. When someone intentionally attacks this foundation by murdering another, then that person can no longer be a part of the general public. It then would seem that the only method that completely separates cold-blooded murderers from our society is the death penalty.