A capital offense, also referred to as a “capital crime,” is
an offense that is punishable by death. First degree murder, depending
on the aggravating circumstances may be charged as a capital offense in
certain states. Conviction for a capital offense results in capital punishment.
Capital punishment, also known as the “death penalty,” is the killing of a person by the government as punishment for
a committing a crime. If capital punishment is not imposed, the defendant
is sentenced to life imprisonment without parole (LWOP).