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Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 decade ago

What Can You Be Legally Executed For That Does Not Involve Murder?

I have heard that murder is not the only grounds that can call for your execution. I have heard that you could still be executed for committing treason and the military can call for executions if a soldier should decide to desert or something like that.

So what exactly can you be executed for that does not involve comitting murder?

12 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The death penalty in the United States is used almost exclusively for the crime of murder. Although state and federal statutes contain various capital crimes other than those involving the death of the victim, only two people are on death row for a non-murder offense (Patrick Kennedy and Richard Davis in Louisiana). No one has been executed for such a crime since the death penalty was re-instated in 1976. In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court in Coker v. Georgia, 433 U.S. 584, held that the death penalty for the rape of an adult was "grossly disproportionate" and an "excessive punishment," and hence was unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment. The Court looked at the relatively few states that allowed the death penalty for rape and the few death sentences that had been handed down.

    Recently, some states have passed new laws allowing the death penalty for the rape of a child. In 2007, the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for Patrick Kennedy for the rape of his step-daughter, STATE OF LOUISIANA v. PATRICK KENNEDY (No. 05-KA-1981, May 22, 2007). Kennedy was convicted in 2003. However, the constitutionality of this law has not been reveiwed by the U.S. Supreme Court. See Kennedy's petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court (Sept. 11, 2007).

    Statutes allowing the death penalty for rape of a child



    Second conviction for rape of a child under 14; first offense could have occurred prior to law's passage


    Rape or forcible sodomy of a victim under 14 where the defendant had a prior conviction of sexual abuse of a person under 14;

    South Carolina

    Repeat offenders of criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 11;

    Georgia (?)

    Carnal knowledge of a female who is less than 10;

    Ga. Code Ann. sec. 16-6-1 1999 0/0

    In 2006, Georgia's legislature revoked its general capital rape statute, but it is unclear whether the rape of a minor could be pursued as a capital crime.


    Second conviction for sexual intercourse without consent accompanied by serious bodily injury;

    Mont. Code Ann. sec. 45-5-503


    Aggravated rape of a child under 13;

    La. Rev. Stat. Ann. sec. 14:42(D)(2)

    Statute upheld in State v. Kennedy on May 22, 2007; similar statute upheld in State v. Wilson, 685 So.2d 1063, 1073 (La. 1996) but defendant did not receive a death sentence.

    Victim under age 13, rather than 12, was added more recently (Acts 2003, 2006).

    Florida (?)

    Sexual battery or attempted sexual battery with injury of a child under 12;

    Fla. Stat. Ann. sec. 794.011 1974


    Buford v. State, 403 So. 943, 951 (Fla. 1981), held that Fla.'s rape statute was unconstitutional, but upheld defendant's death sentence because victim had also been murdered. Validity of law uncertain.

    Other Statutes allowing the death penalty for non-murder crimes

    Although no one is on death row for the following crimes, capital offenses exist in state law for various other crimes:

    Treason (Arkansas, Calif., Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Washington)

    Aggravated kidnapping (Co., Idaho, Il., Missouri, Mont.)

    Drug trafficking (Fl., Missouri)

    Aircraft hijacking (Ga., Mo.)

    Placing a bomb near a bus terminal (Mo.)

    Espionage (New Mexico)

    Aggravated assault by incarcerated, persistent felons, or murderers (Mont.)

    Federal capital statutes for non-murder crimes (no one on death row):

    Espionage (18 U.S.C. 794)

    Treason. (18 U.S.C. 2381)

    Trafficking in large quantities of drugs (18 U.S.C. 3591(b))

    Attempting, authorizing or advising the killing of any officer, juror,or witness in cases involving a Continuing Criminal Enterprise, regardless of whether such killing actually occurs. (18 U.S.C. 3591(b)(2))

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes you are correct treason and military desertion are punishable by death in certain circumstances, though this has not occurred for a very long time, and its unlikely that anyone will ever be executed for these reasons again.

  • 1 decade ago

    yes intent of murders, mutilations, rapes, etc. but these must be pretty big for an execution and many of them. as for the military that is correct they can execute you in a time of war of for treason. but that is very serious and almost never done because if the executer can not prove the reason was just they can in turn end up in prison and executed.

  • 5 years ago

    Anne Boleyn's death was a poignant example of extreme politics. Henry VIII wanted what he wanted when he wanted it. She had not produced a male heir. He had already brought down his country's church about his ears, angered his Catholic allies and infuriated many nobles when he abandoned Catherine of Aragon for Anne. He had become so obsessed with her that he would literally, and did mind you, to have her. When things did not go as planned, he was furious. Of course, during this time period no man would have ever considered that the fertility issue lay within himself. Queen Anne was an amazingly interesting anf fascinating woman. It is a shame that she had to die so that the King could simply move on to his next 'toy'. I don't think she ever would have murdered Catherine or Mary. She just wanted everyone to love her, and stop hating her for Henry leaving Catherine.

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  • 1 decade ago

    High Treason

  • 1 decade ago

    Treason, in a few states an especially viscious rape aggravated assault or attempted murder, in a military court any offense during time of war or "in the face fo the enemy".

  • cz73
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    These are the twelve offenses punishable by death or another punishment in the United States Code:

    * Using a chemical weapon where the use causes death

    * Killing a member of the United States Congress, the cabinet or Supreme Court

    * Kidnapping a member of the congress, the cabinet or Supreme Court resulting in death

    * Conspiracy to kill a member of the congress, the cabinet or Supreme Court resulting in death

    * Espionage

    * Using an explosive to knowingly to kill a person

    * Causing death using an illegal firearm

    * Genocide where death results

    * First Degree Murder

    o Murder perpetrated by poison or lying in wait.

    o Murder that is willful, deliberate, malicious, and premeditated.

    o Murder in the perpetrated or in the attempt to perpetrate any arson, escape, murder, kidnapping, treason, espionage, sabotage, aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse, child abuse, burglary, or robbery

    o Murder perpetrated as part of a pattern or practice of assault or torture against a child or children

    o Murder perpetrated from a premeditated design unlawfully and maliciously to effect the death of any human being other than him who is killed.

    * Murder committed by a federal prisoner

    * Murdering the president or his staff

    * Kidnapping the president or his staff resulting in death

    * Killing persons aiding Federal investigations or State correctional officers

    * Sexual abuse resulting in death

    * Sexual exploitation of children resulting in death

    * Torture resulting in death

    * Treason

    * War crimes resulting in death

  • 1 decade ago

    Treason is correct.

  • 1 decade ago

    Here is a list of federal capital offenses:

    Most states limit their capital offenses to crimes that result in death (i.e., murder or felony murder).

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