capital offense


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Related to capital offense: death penalty, Capital crime

capital offense

n. any criminal charge which is punishable by the death penalty, called "capital" since the defendant could lose his/her head (Latin for caput). Crimes punishable by death vary from state to state and country to country. In some American states these offenses may include first degree murder (premeditated), murder with special circumstances (such as intentional, multiple, involved with another crime, with guns, of a police officer, or a repeat offense), and rape with additional bodily harm, and the federal crime of treason. A charge of a capital offense usually means no bail will be allowed. (See: capital punishment, bail)

References in periodicals archive ?
At its core, this challenge to Lange is designed to reassess the meaning of the words "life or limb," not as a doctrinaire exercise in hyperliteralism, but to show that the Framers fully intended to limit double jeopardy protection to capital offenses only and that they had legitimate reasons for doing so.
It has always been the position of the Ombudsman that there is no law that allows house arrest for a person under preventive suspension for a capital offense,'' he said.
A party guilty of a capital offense is shot within a week of his sentencing, and the cost of the bullet is billed to his family.
Law-enforcement officials view their horrible task with equanimity: When Frederick Lashley, another brain-damaged convict who committed his capital offense when he was seventeen, was put to death in Missouri late in July, the state's attorney general, Jay Nixon, said, "We feel very comfortable with what the jury and judge decided.
He is to stand trial for plunder, a capital offense, next month.
If so, the jury will determine upon conviction of a capital offense, or whether to vote for the death sentence.
One gun salesman, who asked not to be identified, said the only way to deter gun use among criminals would be to make firing a weapon for a criminal reason a capital offense.
Despite the international protests that greeted the announcement this month that China had charged Wang, the 27-year-old icon of the Tiananmen Square democracy movement, with a capital offense, a Beijing court convicted and sentenced him Wednesday after a four-hour show trial in a sealed courthouse.
Although he was convicted of a capital offense, Nathaniel Blaylock did not face the death penalty for the June 21, 1990, murder of Ronald Steven Baker, a 21-year-old UCLA student.
In reality, few soldiers received harsh punishment for a crime that was considered a capital offense in the nineteenth century.
The factors that Holder is to consider, according to Justice Department protocols, include the strength of the evidence against the defendant, the role he played in the capital offense, any prior criminal record, whether the defendant has accepted responsibility for his conduct, and the views of victims' families.
When Religious Debate Becomes a Capital Offense I find the religious aspect of living in Saudi Arabia very confusing.