Definition - What does Capital Offense mean?
A capital offense is any crime that carries death as a punishment. The term stems from the Latin word "caput" which means head, as in, one could lose their head for the crime. Which crimes qualify as capital offenses varies by state. Examples of capital offenses in certain parts of America include first degree murder, murder with special circumstances, and treason.
Justipedia explains Capital Offense
The term capital offense refers to crimes which are of the highest degree of severity. These crimes are considered so appalling that death is an appropriate sentence for them. There are a number of ways in which death sentences are carried out including the electric chair, lethal injection, and a firing squad. If a person accused of committing a capital offense is found guilty, then they can receive a "death sentence" or a punishment of death