What Is a Capital Felony?

A capital felony is a serious crime that has the death penalty as a potential punishment, according to About.com. In the United States, crimes punishable by the death penalty vary by jurisdiction, as stated by Bureau of Justice Statistics.

As of 2014, first-degree murder with aggravating circumstances is a capital felony. In California, it is a capital offense if a witness commits perjury in a capital case and an innocent defendant is executed, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics. In Georgia, aircraft hijacking and treason are also capital felonies. First-degree kidnapping carries the possibility of the death penalty in Idaho.