first degree murder


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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 periodicals archive ?
Stricklin mastered her practice of defending those charged with DUI, misdemeanor, and felony offenses, including obtaining a dismissal mid-trial in a human smuggling case, an acquittal of attempted first degree murder, and an acquittal of manslaughter.
Stricklin tried several first degree murder cases, including obtaining an acquittal of first degree murder in the People v.
Detective Robert Edgerton, who is heading the investigation, said yesterday: "I am meeting with the State Attorney's Office with a confession and evidence to make a decision whether to charge her with first degree murder.
The game puts players face-to-face with the defendant, a variety of witnesses, television newscasters, an unforgiving judge and an arch-rival attorney as they strive to reach a first degree murder verdict.