Federal Capital Offenses

Similar to many states throughout the country, the federal government imposes capital punishment for certain federal crimes. There are many capital offenses that are punishable by the death penalty. 

The following are all the federal capital offenses in the United States, in alphabetical order: 

  • Acts of terrorism in the U.S. resulting in death, committed by a person engaged in conduct that transcends national boundaries. (18 U.S.C. § 2332b) 

  • Assassination or kidnapping resulting in the death of the President or Vice President (18 USC § 1751 & 18 USC § 1111) 

  • Bank-robbery-related murder or kidnapping (18 USC § 2113) 

  • Civil rights offenses resulting in death (18 USC § 241-247) 

  • Death resulting from aircraft hijacking (49 USC § 46502) 

  • Death resulting from offenses involving transportation of explosives, destruction of government property, or destruction of property related to foreign or interstate commerce (18 USC § 844) 

  • Destruction of aircraft, motor vehicles, or related facilities resulting in death (18 USC § 32-34) 

  • Espionage (18 USC § 794) 

  • First-degree murder (18 USC § 1111) 

  • Genocide (18 USC § 1091) 

  • Mailing of injurious articles with intent to kill or resulting in death (18 USC § 1716) 

  • Murder by a federal prisoner (18 USC § 1118) 

  • Murder by an escaped federal prisoner already sentenced to life imprisonment (18 USC § 1120) 

  • Murder by the use of a weapon of mass destruction (18 USC § 2332a) 

  • Murder committed at an airport serving international civil aviation (18 USC § 37) 

  • Murder committed by the use of a firearm during a crime of violence or a drug-trafficking crime (18 USC § 924) 

  • Murder committed during a drug-related drive-by shooting (18 USC § 36) 

  • Murder committed during an offense against a maritime fixed platform (18 USC § 2281) 

  • Murder committed during an offense against maritime navigation (18 USC § 2280) 

  • Murder committed in a federal government facility (18 USC § 930 & 18 USC § 1111) 

  • Murder during a hostage taking (18 USC § 1203 & 18 U.S.C. § 1111) 

  • Murder during a kidnapping (18 USC § 1201) 

  • Murder for hire involving the use of interstate commerce facilities (18 USC § 1958) 

  • Murder involved in a racketeering offense (18 USC § 1959) 

  • Murder of a court officer or juror (18 USC § 1503) 

  • Murder of a federal judge or law enforcement official (18 USC § 1114) 

  • Murder of a foreign official (18 USC § 1116) 

  • Murder of a member of Congress, an important executive official, or a Supreme Court Justice (18 USC § 351 & 18 USC § 1111) 

  • Murder of a state or local law enforcement official or other person aiding in a federal investigation; murder of a State correctional officer (18 USC § 1121 & 18 U.S.C. § 1111) 

  • Murder of a US national in a foreign country (18 USC § 1119) 

  • Murder related to a carjacking (18 USC § 2119) 

  • Murder related to a continuing criminal enterprise or related murder of a Federal, State, or local law enforcement officer (21 USC § 848(e)) 

  • Murder related to rape or child molestation (18 USC § 2245) 

  • Murder related to sexual exploitation of children (18 USC § 2251) 

  • Murder related to the smuggling of aliens (8 USC § 1324) 

  • Murder with the intent of preventing testimony by a witness, victim, or informant (18 USC § 1512) 

  • Retaliatory murder of a member of the immediate family of law enforcement officials (18 USC § 115 & 18 USC § 1111) 

  • Retaliatory murder of a member of the immediate family of law enforcement officials (18 USC § 115 & 18 USC § 1111) 

  • Terrorist murder of a US national in another country (18 USC § 2332 & 18 U.S.C. § 1111) 

  • Torture resulting in death committed outside the United States by a U.S. national or by a foreign national present in the US (18 USC § 2340, 2340a) 

  • Treason (18 USC § 2381) 

  • Willful wrecking of a train resulting in death (18 USC § 1992) 

Since Timothy McVeigh—who was found guilty of the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing—was executed by legal injection in June 2011, the federal government has executed 15 individuals. Shortly after McVeigh’s death, two more federal prisoners were executed. In 2020, ten were executed. In 2021, three were executed. 

If you or a loved one is facing federal capital charges in Massachusetts, New York, or New Hampshire, call Brad Bailey Law at (617) 500-0252 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. Attorney Brad Bailey is a former state and federal prosecutor with more than five decades of trial-tested experience!

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