capital offense


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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 ?
(45) There is some uncertainty over whether they are to be appointed immediately following indictment for a capital offense or whether they need only be appointed "promptly" sometime prior to trial; (46) and whether the right expires with the decision of the government not to seek the death penalty.
Loom destruction became a capital offense in 1812, but it didn't diminish laments about the pace of technology.
Henderson, (7) finding a jurisdictional defect in the referral process of a capital offense.
The jurisdiction of a special court-martial over a non-mandatory capital offense was a legal question in which the court reviewed de novo.
"The reason," Shahak writes, "is that according to the Talmud all acts forbidden by the Decalogue are capital offenses. Stealing property is not a capital offense (while kidnapping of Gentiles by Jews is allowed by Talmudic law)--hence the interpretation."
Handing down the ruling, Presiding Judge Masaki Wakahara called the crime ''vicious and grave,'' but said it was not a capital offense.
There are also other reasons to doubt whether the 200-plus persons charged with a capital offense by the federal government have had competent counsel, due process and fair treatment.
As in Iran, so-called Sharia Islamic laws also apply in Saudi Arabia, making homosexuality a capital offense. In total, there are eight nations where being gay or lesbian can get you executed by the government.
At wala pong immunity ang mga senador para sa isang capital offense ng kudeta [Because coup d'etat caries a penalty of life imprisonment, he must surrender.
'As a member of the bar, the President has prosecuted murder as a capital offense. He, therefore, does not and will never condone extralegal killings, as he maintains zero tolerance for erring policemen who digress from standard protocols and abuse their power,' Roque said.
But imaginative state legislators might easily discover other offenses worthy of the ultimate punishment: terrorism, major drug dealing (a capital offense under federal law) or violent hate crimes.
Syria has long made membership in the Brotherhood a capital offense. The German authorities had held Defendant for questioning but had let him go for lack of evidence.