capital punishment entails killing and therefore requires
breaking the first Precept it is incompatible with Buddhist
ethics and Buddhist social and legal philosophy. The Buddha
described the judges of his own time as practicing wrong
livelihood as they often handed down cruel or lethal punishments.
Throughout history there have been devout Buddhist monarchs
who have abolished capital punishment, often on the advice
of monks, although such reforms
have always been exceptional. Even today nearly all Buddhist
countries maintain capital punishment although in some
like Sri Lanka it is rarely used.