Capital crimes are among the most serious offenses in the United States, since the consequence of a conviction is usually the death penalty in states that still allow this type of ultimate punishment. Alabama is one of several states that have not abolished the death penalty, so it is very important to know what constitutes a capital crime in Alabama in order to be aware of what you could be facing.
Once you know what a capital crime is, you will have a much greater appreciation for the people who fight on your side to protect you against receiving this terrible punishment whenever possible. We have achieved more than 90% success rate at helping our clients achieve a minimal sentence, dropped charges, dismissed cases, or acquittals in all types of cases, from capital crimes to misdemeanors and other charges. Your future, your freedom, and even your life could be at stake, so do not wait until it is too late to get professional help from one of our professional criminal defense attorneys!
What is a capital crime in Alabama?
Only one crime constitutes as a capital crime in Alabama right now according to state law, and that is intentional murder with at least eighteen aggravating factors. There are several different situations that classify as intentional murder, including but not limited to the following:
· Murder committed during the course of a rape, arson, burglary, hijacking, kidnapping, or robbery, or during any act of sexual abuse
· Killing any law enforcement individual on duty, from state troopers to local police officers or sheriff’s deputies
· Killing someone while you are already incarcerated for life
· Murder for hire, or in order to receive any form of compensation
· Killing more than one person
· Murdering any person associated with public office if the reason behind the murder was related to the official position in any way
· Any murder committed within 20 years of a previous murder conviction
· Killing someone who is willing/able to testify against you during a separate proceeding
· Death of any person under the age of 14
· Deaths related to vehicles, such as reckless driving (gross) or firing a weapon into a vehicle
· Deaths due to firing a weapon inside or outside your home and striking someone
There must be eighteen aggravating factors present according to Ala. Stat. Ann. 13A-5-49, including one or more of the following aggravating factors as defined according to the same statute:
1. “The capital offense was committed by a person under sentence of imprisonment;
2. The defendant was previously convicted of another capital offense or a felony involving the use or threat of violence to the person
3. The defendant knowingly created a great risk of death to many persons
4. The capital offense was committed while the defendant was engaged or was an accomplice in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing, or attempting to commit, rape, robbery, burglary or kidnapping
5. The capital offense was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest or effecting an escape from custody
6. The capital offense was committed for pecuniary gain
7. The capital offense was committed to disrupt or hinder the lawful exercise of any governmental function or the enforcement of laws
8. The capital offense was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel compared to other capital offenses
9. The defendant intentionally caused the death of two or more persons by one act or pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct;
10. The capital offense was one of a series of intentional killings committed by the defendant”
The article is solely informative in nature, and should not be construed as legal advice or counsel. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation and begin building a defense in your capital crime case today!