first degree murder

(redirected from Murder in the First Degree)
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first degree murder

n. although it varies from state to state, it is generally a killing which is deliberate and premeditated (planned, after lying in wait, by poison or as part of a scheme), in conjunction with felonies such as rape, burglary, arson, involving multiple deaths, the killing of certain types of people (such as a child, a police officer, a prison guard, a fellow prisoner), or with certain weapons, particularly a gun. The specific criteria for first degree murder are established by statute in each state and by the United States Code in federal prosecutions. It is distinguished from second degree murder in which premeditation is usually absent, and from manslaughter which lacks premeditation and suggests that at most there was intent to harm rather than to kill. (See: murder, second degree murder, manslaughter, felony murder doctrine)

References in classic literature ?
To escape death he would have done anything, and the police agents prepared him by assuring him that he could not possibly escape conviction of murder in the first degree when his trial came off.
WORCESTER - The one thing all 15 of them had in common was the charge they were facing - murder in the first degree.
Indeed, the jury could well have found premeditation and deliberation for murder in the first degree upon this evidence.