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Classifications Of Murder: What Determines The Degree Of A Murder?

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Murder, or criminal homicide, is considered the most serious of felonies and, as such, generally carries the most severe penalties, including, in some states, death. Although there has traditionally been debate over what sorts of acts constitute murder, it is generally defined as the intentional, unjustifiable, and illegal taking of someone elses life. Although it is generally presumed that murder results in the immediate death of a person, any death that directly occurs to someone elses actions within a year of those actions may be characterized as murder. The law classifies murder according to degrees of severity. First-degree murder is the most egregious and sinister type of murder; it involves causing someone elses death through forethought, deliberation, and/or malice. Those convicted of first-degree murder have been found guilty in a court of law of purposely acting upon another person with the intent of causing great harm or death. Second-degree murder, or voluntary ... more
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