special circumstances


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special circumstances

n. in criminal cases, particularly homicides, actions of the accused or the situation under which the crime was committed for which state statutes allow or require imposition of a more severe punishment. "Special circumstances" in murder cases may well result in the imposition of the death penalty (in states with capital punishment) for murder or life sentence without possibility of parole. Such circumstances may include: rape, kidnapping or maiming prior to the killing, multiple deaths, killing a police officer or prison guard, or actions showing wanton disregard for life such as throwing a bomb into a restaurant. (See: capital punishment)

References in classic literature ?
But there are certain conditions, Prince, that considering the special circumstances of the case I feel impelled to propose.
I am connected with the General," he said drily, "partly through business affairs, and partly through special circumstances.
It is true that the principles by which that relief is governed are now reduced to a regular system; but it is not the less true that they are in the main applicable to SPECIAL circumstances, which form exceptions to general rules.
The casuists have become a byword of reproach; but their perverted spirit of minute discrimination was the shadow of a truth to which eyes and hearts are too often fatally sealed,--the truth, that moral judgments must remain false and hollow, unless they are checked and enlightened by a perpetual reference to the special circumstances that mark the individual lot.
Thus A and B together, not either separately, must be regarded as the cause of the animal's behaviour, unless we take account of the effect which A has had in altering the animal's nervous tissue, which is a matter not patent to external observation except under very special circumstances.
I began to suspect it from some special circumstances known to me only, which I will explain at once to everyone: they account for everything.
I may well have doubted the capacity of a young man too much concerned with the creditable performance of his professional duties to observe what in the nature of things is not easily observable in itself, and still less so under the special circumstances.
Following a story in the Sunday Mail two weeks ago highlighting the plight of Alan McIntyre, 58, who is in urgent need of chemotherapy, Health Minister George Pamporidis has informed the cancer patient that he will personally authorise a special circumstances medial card.
the presumption of abuse may only be rebutted by demonstrating special circumstances, such as a serious medical condition or a call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces, to the extent such special circumstances that [sic] justify additional expenses or adjustments of current monthly income for which there is no reasonable alternative.
Substitutes can only be used based on medical advice under special circumstances.
In a report to the council, officers criticised the sculpture - nicknamed the Magic Boat - for being planned for the green belt, without strong enough special circumstances.
A Los Angeles jury deliberated about five hours Tuesday and Wednesday before convicting Johnson of first-degree murder with special circumstances, robbery and burglary.

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