Federal capital cases have been prosecuted, since 1988,  pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 848(e) et seq., the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, and, since 1994, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3591 et seq., the Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994.  Commonly referred to as the “drug king-pin” statute, the 1988 passage of § 848(e)-(q) ushered in the modern federal death penalty era.  Enactment of the 1994 statute marked an unprecedented expansion of the federal death penalty and revived every pre-Furman death penalty provision still in existence.

As a result of the Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994, virtually every homicide occurring within  federal jurisdiction is now death-eligible.  Other statutes relating to the prosecution of capital cases include 18 U.S.C. § 3005 (appointment of two attorneys for defense in capital cases); 18 U.S.C. § 3281 (no time limitation on instituting proceedings in capital cases) and 18 U.S.C. § 3432 (requiring disclosure of government witnesses and list of veniremen at least three days before trial); 18 U.S.C. § 3235 (venue in capital cases); 18 U.S.C. § 3599(appointment of counsel and authorization of reasonably necessary investigative, expert and other expenses).