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CRM 1-499

69. The Federal Death Penalty Act Of 1994

The Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994 was enacted as Title VI of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and became effective on September 13, 1994. See Pub. L. 103-322, Title VI, Sections 60001-26, Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1959 (codified at 18 U.S.C. 3591-3598). In passing this legislation, Congress established constitutional procedures for imposition of the death penalty for 60 offenses under 13 existing and 28 newly-created Federal capital statutes, which fall into three broad categories: (1) homicide offenses; (2) espionage and treason; and (3) non-homicidal narcotics offenses. Drug-related killings under 21 U.S.C. 848(e) and political assassinations under 18 U.S.C. 1751 (presidential and staff) and 18 U.S.C. 351 (congressional and cabinet, etc.) are not expressly included in the Act's otherwise exhaustive listing of death penalty offenses. However, Section 3591(a)(2) of the Act expressly extends to "any other offense for which a sentence of death is provided . . . ."