41 Federal Capital Offenses


US Federal Offenses Punishable by Death

The US federal government lists 41 capital offenses which are punishable by death. See the full list below.

The capital offenses include espionage, treason, and death resulting from aircraft hijacking. However, they mostly consist of various forms of murder such as murder committed during a drug-related drive-by shooting, murder during a kidnapping, murder for hire, and genocide.


# CODE TYPE OF CRIME
1. 8 U.S.C. 1324 Murder related to the smuggling of aliens
2. 18 U.S.C. 32
18 U.S.C. 33
18 U.S.C. 34
Destruction of aircraft, motor vehicles, or related facilities resulting in death
3. 18 U.S.C. 36 Murder committed during a drug-related drive-by shooting
4. 18 U.S.C. 37 Murder committed at an airport serving international civil aviation
5. 18 U.S.C. 115
[by cross-reference to 18 U.S.C. 1111]
Retaliatory murder of a member of the immediate family of law enforcement officials
6. 18 U.S.C. 241
18 U.S.C. 242
18 U.S.C. 245
18 U.S.C. 247
Civil rights offenses resulting in death
7. 18 U.S.C. 351
[by cross-reference to 18 U.S.C. 1111]
Murder of a member of Congress, an important executive official, or a Supreme Court Justice
8. 18 U.S.C. 794 Espionage
9. 18 U.S.C. 844 Death resulting from offenses involving transportation of explosives, destruction of government property, or destruction of property related to foreign or interstate commerce
10. 18 U.S.C. 924 Murder committed by the use of a firearm during a crime of violence or a drug-trafficking crime
11. 18 U.S.C. 930
[by cross-reference to 18 U.S.C. 1111]
Murder committed in a federal government facility
12. 18 U.S.C. 1091 Genocide
13. 18 U.S.C. 1111 First-degree murder
14. 18 U.S.C. 1114
[by cross-reference to 18 U.S.C. 1111]
Murder of a federal judge or law enforcement official
15. 18 U.S.C. 1116
[by cross-reference to 18 U.S.C. 1111]
Murder of a foreign official
16. 18 U.S.C. 1118 Murder by a federal prisoner
17. 18 U.S.C. 1119
[by cross-reference to 18 U.S.C. 1111]
Murder of a US national in a foreign country
18. 18 U.S.C. 1120
[by cross-reference to 18 U.S.C. 1111]
Murder by an escaped federal prisoner already sentenced to life imprisonment
19. 18 U.S.C. 1121
[by cross-reference to 18 U.S.C. 1111]
Murder of a state or local law enforcement official or other person aiding in a federal investigation; murder of a State correctional officer
20. 18 U.S.C. 1201 Murder during a kidnapping
21. 18 U.S.C. 1203 Murder during a hostage taking
22. 18 U.S.C. 1503
[by cross-reference to 18 U.S.C. 1111]
Murder of a court officer or juror
23. 18 U.S.C. 1512
[by cross-reference to 18 U.S.C. 1111]
Murder with the intent of preventing testimony by a witness, victim, or informant
24. 18 U.S.C. 1513
[by cross-reference to 18 U.S.C. 1111]
Retaliatory murder of a witness, victim, or informant
25. 18 U.S.C. 1716 Mailing of injurious articles with intent to kill or resulting in death
26. 18 U.S.C. 1751
[by cross-reference to 18 U.S.C. 1111]
Assassination or kidnapping resulting in the death of the President or Vice President
27. 18 U.S.C. 1958 Murder for hire
28. 18 U.S.C. 1959 Murder involved in a racketeering offense
29. 18 U.S.C. 1992 Willful wrecking of a train resulting in death
30. 18 U.S.C. 2113 Bank-robbery-related murder or kidnapping
31. 18 U.S.C. 2119 Murder related to a carjacking
32. 18 U.S.C. 2245 Murder related to rape or child molestation
33. 18 U.S.C. 2251 Murder related to sexual exploitation of children
34. 18 U.S.C. 2280 Murder committed during an offense against maritime navigation
35. 18 U.S.C. 2281 Murder committed during an offense against a maritime fixed platform
36. 18 U.S.C. 2332 Terrorist murder of a US national in another country
37. 18 U.S.C. 2332a Murder by the use of a weapon of mass destruction.
38. 18 U.S.C. 2340a Murder involving torture
39. 18 U.S.C. 2381 Treason
40. 21 U.S.C. 848
(Anti-Drug Abuse Act)
Murder related to a continuing criminal enterprise or related murder of a Federal, State, or local law enforcement officer
41. 49 U.S.C. 46502 Death resulting from aircraft hijacking


Related Links:

1. State Death Penalty Laws and Information - Get the legal status, a brief state history, and links to state laws for the death penalty for all 50 states and DC. States that authorize the death penalty for crimes other than murder are also highlighted.

2. How are federal and state death penalty laws different? - Read explanations of the differences between state and federal death penalty laws.

3. What are the federal acts and policies governing the death penalty? - Read about the Constitutional basis and various acts and policies which govern the federal death penalty. Links to the source materials are included.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Capital Punishment, 2010 - Statistical Tables," www.bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov (accessed Aug. 21, 2012)