Subject and Keywords:
The overall objective of this article is to present issues related to capital punishment. The paper presents selected international legal instruments on this issue. Thearticle focuses on historic Polish legislation concerning jurisdiction and the use of capital punishment. The subject of capital punishment in criminal law has long been acontentious issue. Capital punishment, its effectiveness, its reliability vis-à-vis rehabilitation and its substitution by another penalty, is analysed herein. In Poland, capital punishment has not been applied since 1988. The last death sentence was carried out in 1979, capital punishment having been removed by the legislature from the Criminal Code in 1997.When considering this issue, it is worthwhile to refer to some statistical data: 1 96 countries have abolished capital punishment in respect of all crimes; 2 9 countries have abolished capital punishment for all crimes, with the exception of offences committed in time of war; 3 34 countries have expunged capital punishment from their penal codes or have ceased to apply it, in practice, within the last decade; 4 139 states have either not included capital punishment in their regulations or have not used capital punishment; 5 58 countries still maintain capital punishment in their legislation; 6 in China, capital punishment may be imposed for 55 types of crime; 7 in 2010, at least 17,833 people were living under sentence of death.