Crimes Punishable by the Death Penalty
Summary of States' Death Penalty Statutes - From Bureau of Justice Statistics
Death Penalty for Offenses Other Than Murder - State and Federal Laws that allow Capital Punishment when no death has occurred
DPIC's Page on Kennedy v. Louisiana - Striking down the death penalty for non-homicide offenses against individuals
Aggravating Factors by State - Lists of the factors that could make a defendant eligible for the Death Penalty
Mitigating Factors by State - List of the various state statutes defining mitigating circumstances for their respective jurisdictions
State by State Information - Database of State Death Penalty information
Federal Mitigating and Aggravating Factors - Federal Death Penalty statutes mitigating and aggravating factors
Federal Death Penalty - Federal Laws Providing for the Death Penalty
News and Developments - Current Year
The Bureau of Justice Statistics, Capital Punishment 2010, (December 2011) lists the following as capital crimes, by state:
Alabama - Intentional murder with 18 aggravating factors (Ala. Stat. Ann. 13A-5-40(a)(1)-(18)).
Arizona - First-degree murder, including pre-meditated murder and felony murder, accompanied by at least 1 of 14 aggravating factors (A.R.S. § 13-703(F)).
Arkansas - Capital murder (Ark. Code Ann. 5-10-101) with a finding of at least 1 of 10 aggravating circumstances; treason.
California - First-degree murder with special circumstances; sabotage; train wrecking causing death; treason; perjury causing execution of an innocent person; fatal assault by a prisoner serving a life sentence.
Colorado - First-degree murder with at least 1 of 17 aggravating factors; first-degree kidnapping resulting in death; treason.
Connecticut - [Abolished the death penalty in 2012]
Delaware - First-degree murder (11 Del. C. § 636) with at least 1 statutory aggravating circumstance (11 Del. C. § 4209).
Florida - First-degree murder; felony murder; capital drug trafficking; capital sexual battery.
Georgia - Murder; kidnapping with bodily injury or ransom when the victim dies; aircraft hijacking; treason.
Idaho - First-degree murder with aggravating factors; first-degree kidnapping; perjury resulting in death.
Illinois - [Abolished the death penalty in 2011]
Indiana - Murder with 16 aggravating circumstances (IC 35-50-2-9).
Kansas - Capital murder with 8 aggravating circumstances (KSA 21-3439, KSA 21-4625, KSA 21-4636).
Kentucky - Murder with aggravating factors; kidnapping with aggravating factors (KRS 532.025).
Louisiana - First-degree murder; treason (La. R.S. 14:30 and 14:113).
Maryland - [Abolished the death penalty in 2013]
Mississippi - Capital murder (Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-19(2)); aircraft piracy (Miss. Code Ann. § 97-25-55(1)).
Missouri - First-degree murder (565.020 RSMO 2000).
Montana - Capital murder with 1 of 9 aggravating circumstances (Mont. Code Ann. § 46-18-303); aggravated sexual intercourse without consent (Mont. Code Ann. § 45-5-503).
Nebraska - First-degree murder with a finding of at least 1 statutorily-defined aggravating circumstance.
Nevada - First-degree murder with at least 1 of 15 aggravating circumstances (NRS 200.030, 200.033, 200.035).
New Hampshire - Murder committed in the course of rape, kidnapping, or drug crimes; killing of a police officer, judge or prosecutor; murder for hire; murder by an inmate while serving a sentence of life without parole (RSA 630:1, RSA 630:5).
New York* - [New York abolished the death penalty in 2007]
North Carolina - First-degree murder (NCGS §14-17).
Ohio - Aggravated murder with at least 1 of 10 aggravating circumstances (O.R.C. secs. 2903.01, 2929.02, and 2929.04).
Oklahoma - First-degree murder in conjunction with a finding of at least 1 of 8 statutorily-defined aggravating circumstances.
Oregon - Aggravated murder (ORS 163.095).
Pennsylvania - First-degree murder with 18 aggravating circumstances.
South Carolina - Murder with 1 of 12 aggravating circumstances (§ 16-3-20(C)(a))
South Dakota - First-degree murder with 1 of 10 aggravating circumstances.
Tennessee - First-degree murder with 1 of 16 aggravating circumstances (Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-204).
Texas - Criminal homicide with 1 of 9 aggravating circumstances (Tex. Penal Code § 19.03).
Utah - Aggravated murder (76-5-202, Utah Code Annotated).
Virginia - First-degree murder with 1 of 15 aggravating circumstances (VA Code § 18.2-31).
Washington - Aggravated first-degree murder.
Wyoming - First-degree murder; murder during the commission of sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor, arson, robbery, burglary, escape, resisting arrest, kidnapping, or abuse of a minor under 16. (W.S.A. § 6-2-101(a))
*The New York Court of Appeals held that a portion of New York’s death penalty sentencing statute (CPL 400.27) was unconstitutional (see People v. Taylor, 9 N.Y.3d 129 (2007) (applying ruling to remaining inmates on death row). The legislature has rejected efforts to revise the statute and restore the death penalty.
a.) The United States Supreme Court struck a portion of the Louisiana capital statute on June 25, 2008 (Kennedy v. Louisiana, U.S. 128 S.Ct. 2641). The statute (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 14:42(D)(2)) allowing execution as a punishment for the rape of a minor when no murder had been committed had been ruled constitutionally permissible by the Louisiana Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court found that since no national consensus existed for application of the death penalty in cases of rape where no murder had been committed, such laws constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The ruling affects laws passed in Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Montana.
b.) The Nebraska Supreme Court struck a portion of the state’s capital statute on February 8, 2008 (State v. Mata, 745 N.W.2d 229, 278 (2008)). The court found that Nebraska's electrocution procedure violated the state constitution's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.
c.) Two states revised statutory provisions relating to the death penalty during 2008.