Black's Law Dictionary defines "Capital" as "affecting or relating to the head or life of a person; entailing the ultimate penalty.....A Capital Crime or Case is one for which the death penalty may, but need not necessarily, be inflicted."
In Texas, more people are killed by the state than in all the western and "first world" or modern countries, combined. It is only when we take into consideration 'third world" countries, in which human life is considered cheap and expendable, that the Lone Star State is eclipsed in its zest for the ultimate punishment.
Capital cases are prosecuted at the sole discretion of the local District Attorney, upon whom the decision lies whether to present a case as a death or non-death case. The most common Capital case is one involving a murder committed in the act of committing another felony;such as, robbery, sexual assault, or burglary, Later modifications of the law included serial killings and murder of a police officer or prison guard.
Harris County (Houston), America's 4th largest city, is the first city of the death penalty, "the capitol of capital cases". The Houston District Attorney's office had 6 death cases lined up and ready to go after the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the constitutionality of the practice of "lethal injection" used by Texas and other states.