Which Federal Crimes Can Cost You Your Life?The death penalty is generally a state matter. Until the thirteen executionswere carried out during the Trump presidency, there had not been a federal execution since 2003.


President Joe Biden stated last year that there would be no executions during his presidency; moreover, the president ssaid he would work toward legislation that would end the death penalty at the federal level.


Abolishment of the death penalty is a remote possibility. At best, the Biden administration will restore moratorium on executions in place before the Trump era.


Still, the question arises: What types of crimes will cause the federal government to seek the death penalty? Read on to find out more.


Capital Punishment on a Federal Level


Each state has its own set of statutes that outline death penalty-eligible crimes. The federal death penalty similarly encompasses particular offenses that can result in a death sentence, and these offenses can be prosecuted in federal jurisdictions in all 50 states. Currently, there are 44 inmates on federal death row who face no exposure to the carrying out of their sentence under the Biden administration.


What Types of Federal Crimes Can Summon the Death Penalty?


Most of the crimes covered by the federal death penalty involve murder or the death of another person. For example, if you smuggle aliens and murder someone in the process, you can face the death penalty in federal prison. The same is true for crimes like the destruction of an aircraft or vehicle that results in the death of another – or offenses involving civil rights that ended in death.


You also can be sentenced to the federal death penalty for:


  • Murdering a member of Congress, the President, or the Vice President
  • Murdering the family of lawn enforcement officials as an act of retaliation
  • Murdering anyone in a facility run by the federal government


Genocide is on the list, as is the murder of a foreign official. If you kill a judge, you can get the death penalty. If you kill a U.S. citizen in another country, you may also face the death penalty. You get the message.


However, there are some crimes evoking the federal death penalty that may surprise you. Espionage is on the list, but so is murder perpetrated via drive-by shooting related to drugs.


If you kill someone in an airport, you can get the death penalty, too. If you commit murder related to sexual exploitation or molestation of children, then it may be the federal death penalty for you.


This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it does go to show you how varied the crimes are that involve the death penalty in federal court. That’s why, if you’re facing federal charges that involve the death of another, you need an experienced attorney to help you navigate these charges. They’ll help make sure you’re not one of the unlucky few to face the federal death penalty.