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What Is The Difference Between A Capital Felony And A Life Felony?



The two most severe felony types are known as capital felony and life felony. If you are convicted of a life felony, you will serve the rest of your natural life in prison without chance of parole. The category of life felony is reserved for very serious crimes such as murder, rape, treason, human trafficking, or severe child abuse.

Capital felonies are even more serious than life felonies and are only received in certain states. The punishment for capital felonies is death. Capital felony crimes include first degree murder and high treason.

In either case, your life in the outside world is over. Contact a felony lawyer or attorney if you are facing either a capital felony or a life felony charge. These charges have the potential to be life changing, so you want to be sure you have the best support and representation in the courtroom.

The Changing Face Of Capital Punishment

Capital punishment is currently only practiced in 33 U.S. states, and recent Supreme Court rulings have established precedents that only first degree murder or aggravated murder convictions can be met with the death penalty. For instance, a Supreme Court ruling declared that aggravated child rape, previously a capital felony, is now a life felony.

In general, if nobody died and there was no intent to kill, capital punishment is deemed to be too severe for U.S. use even in the states that practice it. The Supreme Court has been relatively consistent on this point over the past several years, with many court challenges to this legal precedent.

Life Without Parole

While capital punishment statistics have gradually decreased over the past decade, life-without-parole sentences have increased. This corresponds with an increase in incarceration rates overall.

If you are concerned about being charged with either a capital felony or a life felony, contact a lawyer today. Only a qualified attorney will be able to tell you if your crime is a life felony or a capital felony. An attorney will also be able to advise you on the next steps you should take.