Keyword Analysis & Research: degrees of murder

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between first and second degree murder?

First degree murder requires that a defendant plan and intentionally carry out the killing, whereas second degree murder requires that the killing either be intentional or reckless, and occur in the spur of the moment. Taking the time to plan another’s death is arguably a more serious crime.

What is the difference between the three degrees of murder?

First degree means the person had intent on murdering someone. Second degree means the person committed a murder while committing a felony, i.e. rape or robbery. Third degree means the person definitely meant to harm the person but may not intended to kill the person.

What is considered third degree murder?

Third degree murder is defined in the Crimes Code as “all other kinds of murder” other than first or second degree murder. It is a killing done with legal malice, but without the specific intent to kill.


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