second degree murder


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Related to second degree murder: Justifiable homicide, manslaughter, Involuntary manslaughter, M'Naghten rule

second degree murder

n. a non-premeditated killing, resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a distinct possibility. Second degree murder is different from First Degree Murder which is a premeditated, intentional killing, or results from a vicious crime such as arson, rape, or armed robbery. Exact distinctions on degree vary by state. (See: murder, first degree murder, manslaughter)

References in periodicals archive ?
If the law changes, it would allow courts to set the length of jail terms for second degree murder.
Second degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of 15 years to life imprisonment.
The worst crimes of killings by recklessness would be upgraded from manslaughter to second degree murder.