In Texas, certain crimes are considered to be capital crimes, which are eligible for the death penalty, with the caveat that the condemned person has also demonstrated future dangerousness. But does the list make logical and moral sense? 

Of course, there are many arguments that the death penalty shouldn't exist at all. Still, if it's going to continue, perhaps the crimes eligible for the death penalty should be narrowed, or expanded, to ensure fairness. 

READ MORE: Lucky 3: Texas Death Row Inmates Granted Clemency 

Texas death chamber in Huntsville
Getty Images

First, let's start with what is currently considered a capital crime in Texas

(I'll paraphrase because the language is somewhat legalistic, of course)

1. The murder of a peace officer or fireman while they are doing their job, and the murderer knows they are police/ fire.

2. Intentional murder while committing certain other felonies like kidnapping, robbery, terroristic action, sexual assault, etc.

3. Commits a murder-for-hire, or pays someone to murder for them

4. Murder while attempting to escape jail/prison, etc.

5. An incarcerated person murders an employee of the prison/jail, etc.

6. Murder committed while participating in organized crime, i.e. gang or mob murder

7. Murders while incarcerated for murder or another serious violent crime.

8. Murder committed during a criminal transaction, e.g. a drug deal

9. Murder of a person under 15 years old

10. Retaliation murder of a judge or justice.

READ MORE: Texas Death Row: A Look At The Life & Crimes Of Every Inmate Executed in 2023

Should The List Be Expanded? Here are some possible candidates.

Other public servants

If the murder of a police officer or fire person is a capital crime, perhaps so should any first responder, like an EMT person. There have been bills introduced to add EMTs.

But what about other public servants employed by the state or country? Like active military, social workers, or even teachers.

The Judge, But Not The Jury?

Should it also be a capital crime to murder a juror in retaliation for a guilty verdict?

Pregnant Women

If the murder of a person under 15 is a capital crime, should a pregnant woman be included as well, because her unborn child is certainly under 15?

Crimes With Multiple Fatalities 

Should a mass shooter, or someone who plants a bomb, be automatically eligible for the death penalty if more than one person dies?

Crimes To Silence A Victim/ Informant

If a person is murdered to "keep them quiet" about a crime that previously occurred, should the murderer be eligible for the death penalty?

Serial Domestic Abuser That Kills

Should a person with multiple domestic abuse charges, who finally kills their victim, be eligible for the needle?

And this entire list could lead to one conclusion: should any murder be considered a capital crime? Aren't they all heinous, unforgivable, and demonstrate that a person is dangerous? Of course, this is subjective, and only time will tell if Texas expands, narrows, or even eliminates the death penalty.

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