The Government of a country or state is regarded as the constituted authority, and it is required that the laws and regulations by that government or state be obeyed. Anyone who fails to obey such laws or regulations would be termed as an offender.
Capital offences are offences that are punishable by death. In this article, we would examine two offences that when committed against the government, the punishment would be a death penalty. They are:
The crime of attempting to overthrow the government of the state to which one owes allegiance, either by making war on the state or by materially supporting its enemies
According to the Criminal Code, anyone who declares war on the state to intimidate or overpower the president or a governor is guilty of the offence of treason. He is liable to be punished by death.
Where a person is accused of committing the offence of treason, it must be established that the essence of such act was for a general or public purpose. Where the act of the individual is only for personal reasons, it would be regarded as a riot or public disturbance at most.
However, where a person under the age of 18 commits treason, he or she will not be executed, instead will be detained at the pleasure of the president. Similarly where a pregnant woman commits treason, she will not be punished by death. Instead, she will be imprisoned for life.
2. Treasonable Felony:
Treasonable felony is defined as an act that demonstrates an intent to commit treason, but is not followed by any further action to carry out that intention. Section 40 – 43 of the Criminal Code lists certain acts which constitute treasonable felony.
According to Section 43 of the Criminal Code, any person accused of committing the offence of treason or treasonable felony must be tried by the court within 2 years.
After 2 years, it would be impossible to institute any action against such an offender as it would be statute barred.