Capital punishment, widely referred to as the death penalty, is the supreme act of punishment that over the years has been imposed for major criminal offenses, such as murder, sexual assault, and treason. The most common method of execution in the United States today is lethal injection, but electrocution, the gas chamber, hanging, and the firing squad have also been used since the 1970s. From 1930 to 2008, the United States carried out a total of 4,900 executions (including 36 by federal authorities). Although a vast majority of the cases involved murder, less than 1 percent of homicides in America result in the death penalty.
(Chapman, Roger. "Capital Punishment." Culture Wars in America: An Encyclopedia of Issues, Viewpoints, and Voices, edited by Roger Chapman, and James Ciment, Routledge, 2nd edition, 2013. Credo Reference, Accessed 10 Feb. 2020).