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. My principal has sent me merely to ask you to forego your intentions of last evening.
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. With this possibility, we are brought back to causal laws,and to the suggestion that many things which seem essentially mental are really neural.
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. In the majority of ships a second officer has not many points of contact with the captain's wife.
Although a stay of proceedings is at the discretion of the trial judge, Justice Clemence Honyenuga educated the defence counsel that exceptional or special circumstances must be established for it to be considered, but in this instance he failed to do so.
Additional support for students in special circumstances such as those who are care experienced, lone parents, or are providing care Postgraduate students can apply to SAAS for funding if they are studying a course that SAAS funds and meet the residency criteria.
But planning bosses threw out the proposals on the grounds the school had not proven there are 'very special circumstances' to justify building on the green belt.
The northern part of the site is in the green belt and planners considered that the "very special circumstances" necessary to justify granting permission have not been demonstrated.
Court remarked that attendance of suspect is mandatory to record the statement in general circumstances however here we are talking about the special circumstances.

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