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.
it was not the intention of those concerned in lynching [the victim] to kill him, but that they did intend to do him great bodily harm, and that in so doing death ensued, such killing is murder in the first degree, by the statute of this State." (58) Four years later, the court approved a similar jury instruction in State v.
Solomon is seeking dismissal "of so much of this indictment as alleges murder in the first degree.''
"She is guilty of murder in the first degree, and that murder was premeditated."
"There are three main degrees - murder in the first degree, murder in the second, or murder in the third degree, which is really manslaughter.